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Substitute for White Wine in Cooking

In addition to accompanying great dishes or going solo in providing a wonderful ecstatic satisfaction to the throat, wines are also used in the kitchen for various reasons. Some of these reasons include: to add extra flavor, as cooking fuel, or just for visual display (as in flambé, where distilled alcohol is ignited). In many cultures, wine has had a long history of being a staple at the dinner table,. In some ways,, both the winemaking and culinary traditions of a region will have evolved together over the years.

Why Use Wine in Cooking?

Wines are utilized in culinary art because of these qualities: acidity, flavor and aroma, sweetness, bitterness, and of cause alcohol content. Also, heat affects wine to offer its bouquet, and alcohol is natural when it comes to interaction with other ingredients. Finally, it helps maintain texture (as in fondue, where wine prevents the cheese from seizing up).

The transformative power of wine has made dishes like coq au vinboeuf Bourguignon and cioppino timeless classics. Its versatility, with both sweet and savory ingredients, makes it indispensable in the kitchen.

White wines are best for cooking most applications because most white wines are dry (void of sugar, added salt, or excess preservatives).

White Wine Nutrition Facts

White Wine Nutrition Facts

White Wine Recipes

Below are some of the top white wine recipes

  • Pan-seared chicken breasts with shallots
  • Creamy white wine sauce
  • Wine sauce for seafood
  • Quick chicken and wine
  • Sirloin tips and mushrooms
  • Rosemary braised lamb shanks

Substitute for White Wine in Cooking

Although all the good white wine gives to the dish, there are some times when you need a perfect substitute. You may be nonalcoholic but desire that same effect white wine gives to your dish. You may simply be averse to the smell or taste of white wine. Or you may simply desire an adventure in the kitchen. Whichever the reason for your hunt, you’re in luck. Below, I shall explain some of the best substitutes for white wine in cooking.

White Wine Vinegar

Kedem Gourmet White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is an impressively versatile substitute that can approximate almost any role played by regular white wine. If your recipe calls for just a splash of vino to deglaze a pan, add ½ tablespoon of white wine vinegar and call it a day.

For cooking that requires more significant amounts of white wine, dilute the vinegar with broth. For example, ½ cup of white wine can be replaced with 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, diluted with broth. If the acidity isn’t coming through enough at the end, just add a squeeze of lemon—it’s best to air on the side of caution when it comes to vinegar.

Pomegranate Juice

R.W. Knudsen Just Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is a beverage with a rich, fruity flavor. Additionally, pomegranate juice is fairly acidic and boosts the flavor of just about any food. Its flavor, aroma, and acidity are comparable to red wine, so it may replace red wine equally in cooking. Since pomegranate juice is less acidic than red wine, you can mix it with a tablespoon of vinegar, which will result in a stronger flavor.

Pomegranate juice tastes great with several different types of dishes. It works well when added to salad dressings and sauces or when used in a glaze for vegetables. Not only does pomegranate juice add flavor to recipes, but it may also provide some health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and has been studied for its potential to lower blood pressure, which is a common risk factor for heart disease.

Chicken Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

If your recipe requires wine in a sauce, chicken broth is a reliable substitute. The broth will offer neither the complexity nor acidity of white wine, though, but it does boast more flavor than water and will maintain the proper ratio of liquid in your dish. For an even better result, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to ½ cup of chicken broth as a stand-in for the same amount of white wine.

Ginger Ale

Q Mixers Premium Ginger Ale

Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. It typically contains a few other ingredients, including lemon, lime, and cane sugar. Due to its similar appearance, ginger ale can be a replacement for white wine in cooking. You can substitute ginger ale for white wine in equal amounts.

The acidity of ginger ale makes it a great meat tenderizer, which means that it breaks down the proteins in meat, making it softer and easier to chew. Keep in mind the flavor differences between ginger ale and white wine. Although they have similar dry and sweet tastes, ginger ale should only be used in recipes that will work well with a slight ginger flavor.

Lemon Juice

Realemon Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has a sour flavor and is a key ingredient in many different recipes. Adding lemon juice to dishes is an excellent way to enhance flavors, especially if you aim for a tangy taste. Lemon juice is acidic, so it may be added to marinades to help tenderize meat.

As a result of their similar functions, you can use lemon juice instead of white wine in cooking. However, lemon juice is quite tart and should not replace white wine equally, to avoid it overpowering the taste of your food. Before adding it to recipes, lemon juice should be diluted with equal parts water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is white wine for cooking the same as white wine vinegar?

No. White wine vinegar is a substitute for dry white wine, especially when its purpose is to deglaze a pan. Made from white wine, white wine vinegar has many of the same flavor characteristics, minus the alcohol.

What does white wine do to meat?

Wine is basically an acid ingredient (which helps tenderize the outside of the meat), and it has a lot of flavors. The wine-based marinade helps keep meat, poultry, or seafood moist while it cooks, too.

Can you use bad white wine for cooking?

Yes. Wine is perfect for cooking months after it stops being fit for sipping. All old wine just tastes like skunked vinegar after a while. But these bad wines can be used for cooking (consider it a recycle). Adding a little heat and some other choice ingredients will give it new life.


Whatever the reason behind your hunt for a white wine substitutes is, you are guaranteed a perfect match from the above list of white wine substitutes. Have a blast in your kitchen!