White wine is a favorite ingredient of cooking lovers and it’s no wonder, considering that it brings out the flavors of other ingredients the dish contains. Shrimp scampi, chicken piccata, and steamed clams are some of the recipes that require white wine, alongside numerous French sauces like beurre blanc.
White wine is also used for its acidic properties that help in breaking down meat protein structures.
If you are new to cooking or want to experiment a little, you may ask yourself a question – can I use cooking white wine instead of dry wine? The answer is a simple yes.
However what if you run out of white wine but need to make a dish as soon as possible? Fortunately, there are a couple of white wine alternatives you can use. The alternatives listed below won’t change the flavor of the recipe and help bring out the flavors of the dish ingredients.
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Best Substitutes For White Wine
1. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable broth as well as stocks are liquids used as the base for a lot of types of dishes, including sauces and soups. Stock is made by seafood, meat, simmering animal bones, or vegetables in water. Spices, herbs, and vegetable scraps are often added for increasing the flavor of the stock. They are also used to simmer as well as tenderize meat. Because of its similar function in cooking, the stock can be a great non-alcoholic substitute for white wine.
2. Beef Broth
Beef broth is known for its deeper flavor and color, and people often use it as a replacement for both red and white wine. However, most cooking lovers tend to prefer vegetable and chicken broths over beef broth as a replacement for white wine. Depending on your dish and its flavor, you may replace wine with the stock at an equal ratio. However, note that stock is less acidic, savory, and comes with a mild flavor, unlike wine. In case you’re aiming for the extra flavor, or want to tenderize meat in the recipe, it can be useful to add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar per cup of the stock in a dish.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
In case you have apple cider vinegar on hand, it can be a great white wine substitute you can use. Just like white wine, it’s slightly sweet and comes with a similarly aged depth.
4. Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is another great replacement for white wine, which will add depth to a recipe. Note that it will change the flavor of the recipe a bit, but only for the better. In case you’re using slightly salted broth, taste a dish you are making before you add any additional salt.
5. Apple Juice
Apple juice can add sweetness to a dish just like the wine would have. But keep in mind that because apple juice is much sweeter than wine, you’ll need to add the lemon juice or the splash of vinegar to dial it back a little. Be cautious while using this option in salty or savory recipes, though.
6. White Grape Juice
White grape juice is much sweeter than wine, which means you’ll have to add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to balance a flavor. Don’t forget to be cautious while using it in salty or savory recipes.
7. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is quite an acidic beverage with a fruity and rich flavor that you can use as a replacement for white wine. But since pomegranate juice isn’t as acidic as wine, try mixing it with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, resulting in a stronger flavor. The pomegranate juice tastes especially great with several types of dishes. More specifically, it works well when you add it to salad dressings as well as sauces. Another great thing about it is that it comes with a variety of health benefits that are good for your body and mind. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory effects, lowers blood pressure, fights joint pain and arthritis, as well as improves memory and exercise performance, just to name a few.
8. Cranberry Juice
The good thing about cranberry juice is that it can deepen the flavor of any recipe. Since cranberry juice is quite sweet, it’s suggested that you cook with a version that does not contain added sugar. Otherwise, a recipe might taste sweeter than intended. Additionally, try reducing the sweetness of it by mixing it with the tablespoon of vinegar before you add it to recipes. Just like pomegranate juice, cranberry juice comes with some health benefits as well. It can reduce the likelihood of getting urinary tract infections and it’s also rich in antioxidants which combat disease-causing inflammation.
9. White Wine Vinegar
If the recipe requires dry white wine, the best thing you can do is to replace it with white wine vinegar (although you can use it for other dishes as well). Since it is made from white wine, it’ll have a couple of intended flavors. However, remember that it’ll be a lot more acidic. Try diluting the vinegar with water in order to tame the acidity; the mix of 50% of vinegar and 50% of water will do the trick.
10. Ginger Ale
This might seem like the odd suggestion, however, ginger ale also has the same sweet, dry taste as the white wine, meaning it’ll work nicely. So feel free to use it in the recipes calling for sweet white wine.
If you do not have any of the ingredients on hand, you might be surprised to know that you can also use plain water as a white wine replacement. Usually, you’ll need less water than wine. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of wine, you can replace it with 3/4 cup of water. Note that it will not enhance the flavor of the recipe, however, it’ll keep liquid volumes as intended. This can ensure that the dish will not turn out dry.
As you can see, there are a lot of white wine alternatives you can use. All you need to do is to choose which one you like or the one your recipe needs so you can make a tasty dish with excellent flavor.
I’m Maria and I love cooking—and mostly EATING—food from all around the world. I’ve been sharing my abuela’s secret Latin-American recipes for the last 7 years with the world on this blog. I’ve been a full-time food blogger for many years and I’m always trying new delicious meals that don’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef. I also love traveling, cats, and knitting.