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Substitutes For White Wine In Risotto

If you are into Italian foods, then you probably know risotto. This Italian food is inexpensive, so you can prepare it yourself at home. If you don’t want to go to the restaurant, professional chefs and home chefs (with basic cooking skills).

Substitutes for White Wine in Risotto

White Wine Nutrition Facts

White Wine Nutrition Facts

Every risotto recipe calls for some acidic liquid, but white wine’s most common substance and its alcoholic nature adds some kick to the final rice dish.

But what we can agree on is that white wine may not always be available at home, so to solve this problem, you need to get a substitute for it when you want to prepare risotto.

This article will share my best white wine substitutes when making risotto. Unfortunately, not all substitutes are alcoholics, and the most important thing is the acidic nature of the substitute. First, let’s take a closer look at what white wine is and how it is used in the culinary world.

What is White Wine?

White wine is a type of wine made by ethanol fermentation of non-colored grape pulps. This type of wine is fermented without skin contact, and the color can either be a vibrant straw yellow, chartreuse (yellow-green) color, or a shade between amber and yellow (yellowish gold).

White wine production has existed for over 4,000 years, and the wine has many varieties because of the different winemaking processes. The most common type of white wine is the dry white wine made by completely fermenting wort, and another popular type of white wine is sweet white wine.

Uses of White Wine in Recipes

I would recommend white wine for every recipe possible because, unlike most wines, it is neither sweet nor sour, making it an excellent addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

The addition of white wine to risotto makes the flavor of the final dish richer, and for people who enjoy adding alcohol to their food, it will add that much-needed kick to the rice dish. It is colorless, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the color of your creamy risotto.

Apart from risotto, some recipes call for white wine, and below are some examples of recipes that use white wine.

  • Creamy chicken in white wine sauce
  • White wine macaroni and cheese 
  • White wine pasta sauce
  • Strawberry white wine spritzer
  • Steamed mussels with white wine sauce
  • Strawberry orange-white wine sangria
  • Vegan scampi in lemon garlic white wine sauce
  • Pork tenderloin with prunes and white wine
  • Poached salmon with corn and white wine butter sauce
  • Roasted peaches with mascarpone ice cream
  • Zesty braised chicken with lemon and capers
  • Seared scallops with Pinot Gris butter sauce
  • Linguine with clams and fennel 
  • White wine baked apples
  • Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with shallots and white wine

Substitutes for White Wine in Risotto 

Unlike most Italian foods sold in fancy restaurants, risotto is a dish you enjoy from the comfort of your home (even if you live outside Italy).

The preparation of risotto isn’t time-consuming, and after getting risotto rice grains, the other ingredients can be easily gotten from a nearby grocery store.

The addition of white wine is somewhat necessary for preparing risotto as it helps boost the flavor of the overall dish. However, contrary to most people, you can still get a delicious risotto without white wine.

Don’t you believe me? Then keep reading to discover these amazing substitutes for white wine in a risotto that would give you incredible flavors.



Verjuice is a highly acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes or any other sour fruit. It would make a very good replacement for white wine in risotto (that is, if you always have some in your pantry).

Verjuice would also deliver that kick white wine to risotto. But the only downside to verjuice is that you may not easily find it in grove stores, especially when you need an urgent replacement for white wine in risotto.

But if you do get one, substitute 1/4 cup of verjuice in place of 1/2 cup of white wine.

Chicken Stock 

Chicken stock 

Chicken stock would add some umami flavor to your risotto dish. It can make a good substitute for white wine in risotto, and unlike verjuice, it is pretty easy to get your hands on chicken stock.

However, chicken stock is not as acidic as white wine, but you can still achieve this acidity by adding a squeeze of lime juice alongside the chicken stock when making your deliciously creamy rice dish.

Grape Juice

Grape juice

Do you need the alcohol in risotto? Well, the answer is “not really,” because the alcohol pretty boils off after the dish is cooked, and the alcohol will not be noticeable in the main flavor of risotto.

So it is understandable to swap white wine for something similar but nonalcoholic, and that’s grape juice. Grape juice would make a good wine substitute in risotto because it is wine without alcohol.

When substituting grape juice for white wine in risotto, use the same measurements wherever the recipe calls for white wine; that is, you should use a 1 to 1 ratio when making the swap.

Red Wine

Red wine

If you wouldn’t mind a beetroot-themed risotto, replacing white wine with red wine maybe your best option. They have the same alcoholic contents and the same slightly sour flavor, and the only reason they are not used interchangeably is because of the color red whine brings to the dish.

If you would want that red color risotto, substitute just about the same quantity of red wine for white wine in your risotto.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use white wine vinegar to substitute white wine in risotto?

If you can’t get any of the items mentioned in this article, then, of course, you can use white wine vinegar in a pinch. White wine vinegar has a stronger flavor when compared to white wine, so you should use half of the original measurement wherever the recipe calls for white wine and dilute with water.

Can I use cider for white wine?

Just like white wine vinegar, the flavor of apple cider is very overpowering, so if you must use it as a substitute for white wine, you should add an equal amount of water to the cider before using it. This is to make the strong flavor more subtle.

What is the best white wine substitute in risotto for people on a vegetarian diet?

If you don’t have white wine, instead of using chicken stock, you can substitute it for vegetable stock, yes, vegetable stock. Squeeze in lime or lemon juice to your risotto to achieve an acidic flavor.


If you are making this delicious Italian dish and you discover you don’t have any white wine, there is no need to run to the store because some substitutes for white wine in a risotto will yield a delicious flavor. Hence, there is no need to run to the store or abandon your risotto plans; grab one of these items and enjoy your meal.