white wine

Top 6 White Wine Substitutes For Cooking

White wine seems to be everywhere these days. Whether it is your chosen drink at night or part of your favorite Italian meal, white wine is often found in everyone’s household.

Yet, there are times when white wine isn’t ideal to use, or can’t be bought, so you should know some alternatives that will result in exceptional flavor anyway. 

Instead of removing flavor or changing recipes, it would be good to know why white wine is added to cooking and what food items can be used in its place. Remember, too, that there are non-alcoholic options for those that don’t like or can’t consume alcohol. 

Why use white wine for cooking?

White wine is not only an excellent healthy beverage in moderation but is also often used in cooking for releasing flavor, adding sugar, and increasing acidity. In Italian, French, and Spanish food, white wine is part of traditional sauces, stews, and even some soups. 

Cooking wine is non-alcoholic but does provide some of the flavors. Most recipes, though, call for real white wines, such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot blanc, and Semillon.

What Can I Replace White Wine With?

If you don’t have or can’t use any, here are the best white wine substitutes:

Best For Cooking Risotto, Pasta, Chicken Broth, or Marinades:

#1. White Grape Juice and Vinegar

White grape juice is sweet, but not overpowering. You can get a similar flavor to white wine when you mix it with white wine vinegar. This is a great choice for cooking pasta, such as risotto, but can also make for a great marinade.

As a good measure, use ⅔ cup of white grape and ⅓ cup of white wine vinegar for every one cup of white wine. This is a good option as it can be found in any grocery store and convenience store.

#2. Apple Juice

While this non-alcoholic option sounds too sweet, it is an easy alternative for dishes that need sweetness, such as marinades, and even in pasta sauces.

In other cases, though, you need to be aware of how much apple juice you can use, as it can be too sweet and may overpower the rest of the flavors. 

If you need to make it more acidic, consider adding half a cup apple cider or white wine vinegar along with half a cup of apple juice for every one cup of white wine.

Apple juice is a typical drink in many houses, so you may already have some. Otherwise, you can buy it anywhere, such as grocery, convenience, or organic stores.

#3. White Wine Vinegar

As you have read in this list, white wine vinegar is used to add acidity in recipes. If your dish uses white wine as a way to add tartness, then you can use white wine vinegar in its place.

On the other hand, your recipe may become too acidic, so only use ½ tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and ½ tablespoon of water for every one tablespoon of white wine. 

You may already have white wine vinegar in the kitchen right now, but if not, you can get it quickly in any grocery store. This choice works great for marinades, and in place of chicken broth too. 

See more: The Best White Wine Vinegar Substitutes

#4. Chicken or Vegetable Broth

Usually, in French and Italian dishes, a broth of any kind is used to add flavor and color.

Using a chicken or vegetable broth is common in pasta, stews, marinades, and more. Chances are your recipe already calls for broth, and if that is the case, add a bit more for an enhanced flavor. 

You can buy chicken or vegetable broth, or stock, in any grocery store. It is also easy to make at home, which is also a good idea as this broth can be used in many other dishes. If you need sweetness too, consider adding a splash of apple juice as well.

See more: Does Chicken Broth Go Bad?

Best For Mussels, Fondue, or Deglazing:

#5. Vermouth

This liquor is another good option when you run out of white wine, as it adds dryness and sweetness as well.

Vermouth is a fortified wine often considered an aperitif or digestif, so it is commonly sold in liquor stores. This liquor is also used in some cocktails, but it has been used in cooking for a while. 

Choosing vermouth is an affordable option, so you can regularly use it in place of white wine in dishes like fondue, mussels, and deglazing vegetables, like onions. We suggest that you use the same amount of vermouth as what the recipe calls for.

#6. Beer

Another alcoholic choice, though a bit fizzier, beer also adds flavor to a dish. Beer has been around for as long as wine, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is sometimes used in cooking. It is particularly popular in making beef but can be great for mussels, fondue, and in dips. 

You can buy beer in any liquor store, and in some cases, you can find it at grocery and convenience stores. If your recipe uses white wine, go for a light beer, such as a lager.

You can use the same amount of beer, but watch for thickness and maybe allow some of the gas to leave first.


Is white wine vinegar the same as white cooking wine?

No. White wine vinegar is a white wine that has been left over to ferment more to become vinegar. White cooking wine is a generic white wine with more spices and flavoring, but a minimal amount of alcohol.

Can I use vodka instead of white wine in cooking?

You can use vodka in some instances, particularly in creamy sauces. It is a good idea, though, to dilute it with water. For acidity, add white wine vinegar or white vinegar mixed in with the vodka. 

What can I substitute for dry white wine in a recipe?

In recipes that call for dry white wine, the tartness and dryness are essential. You can try using some less sweet options like white wine vinegar, or alcoholic options like sherry or even a bit of brandy.


Using white wine when you cook usually is not a problem, but if you don’t have time to buy some, or if you are trying to stay alcohol-free, these options can work perfectly fine. Make sure you try as you cook and adjust for liquid, acidity, and sweetness, as some can be overly sweet or sour.

white wine substitute

*Photo by Wirestock/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top