8 Substitutes for White Wine When Cooking

These nonalcoholic alternatives will keep your recipe on track

Man drinking white wine and cooking at stove in kitchen

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Many classic French and Italian recipes list white wine as an ingredient, directing the cook to simmer the liquid until it is reduced a bit and the alcohol has burned off. The wine adds a bit of acidity and helps bring out the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish. Shrimp scampi, steamed mussels, and chicken piccata are all recipes that require white wine, as well as several French sauces such as velouté and beurre blanc. But if you find yourself without—or prefer not to include it—there are several nonalcoholic substitutes that will work beautifully in the wine's place.

Apple Cider Vinegar

If you happen to have it on hand, apple cider vinegar is a great substitute for white wine. It's sweet like the wine and has a similarly aged depth. Add the same amount of vinegar as the amount of wine called for in the recipe.

Chicken Broth

Replace the white wine called for with an equal amount of chicken broth (vegetable broth will work, too). This will add depth to the recipe, even if it changes the flavor a bit. If you aren't using a low- or no-sodium broth, you may want to taste the dish you're making before adding any additional salt.

Apple Juice

If the recipe calls for a sweeter white wine, you can swap in apple juice; it will add that bit of sweetness that the wine would contribute. Since apple juice is sweeter than wine, though, consider adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to dial it back a bit.

White Grape Juice

Keep that white grape flavor in your recipe by using white grape juice in place of the white wine. It will be quite a bit sweeter than the wine, so you may need to add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to balance the flavor.

Illustration of white wine substitutions
 The Spruce/Ashley Deleon Nicole

White Wine Vinegar

If your recipe calls for a dry white wine, white wine vinegar is a solid alcohol-free option. Since it's made from white wine, it will have some of the intended flavors—but keep in mind that it will be more acidic. Dilute the vinegar with water to tame the acidity; a mix of 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water should do the trick.

Ginger Ale

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but ginger ale has that same sort of dry, sweet taste as white wine, so it works nicely. Replace in a recipe calling for sweet white wine with an equal amount of ginger ale.

Water

If you don't have any of these other ingredients on hand, replace the wine called for with the same amount of water. It won't enhance the flavor of your recipe, but it will keep the liquid volumes as intended, ensuring that your dish doesn't turn out dry.