What Can Be Substituted For White Wine In A Recipe

When it comes to cooking, white wine can add a depth of flavor to many recipes, from sauces and marinades to soups and stews. However, there are times when you may find yourself without this …

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When it comes to cooking, white wine can add a depth of flavor to many recipes, from sauces and marinades to soups and stews. However, there are times when you may find yourself without this essential ingredient. As a wine enthusiast and cooking aficionado, I’ve explored various substitutes for white wine in recipes and have found several great alternatives that can help you achieve that same complexity and balance in your dishes.

Vegetable or Chicken Broth

If you want to maintain the savory depth that white wine adds to a dish, vegetable or chicken broth can be an excellent substitute. The broth provides a similar level of moisture and can enhance the overall flavor of your recipe. In my experience, I’ve found that using broth in place of white wine works particularly well in sauces and stews. The key is to use a high-quality broth to ensure that the flavors are rich and satisfying.

White Wine Vinegar

For recipes that call for white wine as a flavor enhancer, white wine vinegar can be a suitable replacement. It offers the acidity and mild fruity notes that are characteristic of white wine. When using white wine vinegar, I recommend starting with a smaller quantity than the recipe calls for and adjusting to taste. This versatile alternative is especially effective in salad dressings, marinades, and pan sauces.

Lemon Juice

When a recipe requires white wine for its citrusy undertones, lemon juice can step in as a worthy stand-in. The bright, tangy flavor of lemon juice can add a refreshing dimension to your dish, especially in seafood and poultry recipes. As a bonus, the acidity of lemon juice can tenderize meat and complement the other ingredients in your recipe.

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White Grape Juice

For those seeking a non-alcoholic substitute for white wine, white grape juice can mimic the mild sweetness and fruity characteristics of white wine. This option works well in recipes where the wine’s subtle sweetness plays a role in balancing flavors. It’s important to choose a white grape juice that is 100% pure and not from concentrate to ensure the best results.


While white wine undoubtedly adds complexity and depth to many dishes, there are several suitable alternatives that can be used in a pinch. Whether it’s broth, vinegar, lemon juice, or white grape juice, each substitute brings its own unique flavor profile to the table. As with any substitution, I encourage you to adjust the quantities and taste as you go to ensure that the final dish meets your expectations. With these alternatives in mind, you can confidently navigate your recipes without skipping a beat, even when the bottle of white wine is not within reach.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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