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Cooking Substitute for White Wine

There are those people who cook a lot and write down family recipes in a sizeable well-thumbed book. Once written, that is the way it must be cooked.

But, what if, one day, you’re missing a few ingredients – what do you do? Improvise and substitute? or carry on without them?

Substitutes for White Wine When Cooking:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Chicken Broth.
  • Apple Juice.
  • White Grape Juice.
  • White Wine Vinegar.
  • Ginger Ale.
  • Water.

There are so many recipes that call for the addition of white wine, or other forms of alcohol in their recipes and the cooking thereof.

White Wine Vinegar

If the missing ingredient is white wine, let’s see how things go with a substitute.

I think the most apparent substitutes for white wine must be white wine vinegar.

Several good names manufacture this, one of them being the Dufrais Wine Vinegar Label. This selection, I believe, you can find almost anywhere in the world.

It’s probably true that most households who enjoy cooking will probably be well-stocked with substitutes, and almost everyone will have several items from the Dufrais wine vinegar label.

Therefore if you’re cooking a dish that requires white wine – let’s say, Sole Veronique – then we’ll probably reach for the white wine vinegar as an acceptable substitute.

Having said that; there are about seven other suitable substitutes:

White Grape Juice

If you are out of stock of one of these, you can use a substitute and think nothing further about it. For example, as Sole Veronique has grapes in the recipe, some white grape juice and some white wine vinegar would be a good substitute flavor.

Whenever we have to come up with a suitable substitute for a recipe, it’s always about flavor. It’s about what makes it taste right and what makes it taste better, and all of this very much depends on how good your taste buds are.

We are talking about non-alcoholic substitutes for white wines.

But we’re also mentioning that grape juice might replace wine quite well in some recipes while others will need to be mixed with other things to better the effect.

As noted above, grape juices are beautiful substitutes for white wines. If you don’t panic and think logically, you’ll find this substitute situation a great inspiration to modify dishes and create others – new ones – with different and more exciting flavors.

Ginger Ale

Many people love the flavor of ginger. It makes for an excellent substitute for white wine.

Also, it doubles up as a great meat tenderizer. The ginger flavor is very slight, but it is there.

Stock Liquids

Whether it’s Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable stocks, they can be used as a base for many different types of dishes. You can make them yourself with meat bones or vegetables as a base, or you can buy them in your local stores. You could also use the cubes, but they are not the same when it comes to flavor, and you’ll need to experiment to get the taste the way you want it.

Apple Juice

Apple Juice is a sweet brew that makes an excellent substitute for white wine in cooking. It has a lovely flavor and color, and you might only need a small amount. Adding some vinegar it will give a little extra acidity if you feel your dish needs it.

Lemon Juice

We all know that Lemon Juice has a sour taste. It’s a sharp acid flavor that makes people pull faces when they drink it neat! If you want a tangy, intense acid flavor, then use lemon juice, but you might want to mix it with water to modify the taste. Remember, when using Lemon Juice (or any of these substitutes), you don’t want the flavor of the replacement to overpower the flavor of the actual dish you’re cooking.


If you don’t fancy using any of the above-suggested substitutes, use water to replace the cooking wine. It won’t contribute to the flavor in any way, but it will stop the dish from being dry. So, if you want to keep things very simple and don’t have much experience as a cook, it’s best to leave that culinary ‘flair’ to others. Water is your ‘go-to liquid’ for now.


Keep in mind your desired flavor because if you’re looking for a sweet taste as the end product, you will need to use something sweet. In the midst of all this, keep tasting.

Taste, taste, taste – if you taste your cooking often enough, you will arrive at a much better flavor than you end up with if you do not taste.

Substitute Versatility

The whole point of this article is about a cooking substitute for white wine. When I started thinking about replacements, I realized that not only could you use a substitute to try to copy the original flavor; you could also find a mix of reserves that would create a different flavor – perhaps richer and fruitier, or lighter and spicier.

The whole point is that when you start substituting, you begin experimenting because the taste is the most important reason for doing any of this. Therefore, you could end up creating at least one or two other recipes that you like and will become popular when eaten at your house – what a lovely idea!

Here’s an example of how in a recipe to substitute White Wine for something else quite acceptable and useful,

Sole Veronique Recipe

This is a classic French dish known all over theworld and popular because of its delicacy. It was created centuries ago and yetstill can hold its own against many modern dinner party dishes.

  • 125g (4oz) white grapes
  • 9 lemon sole fillets (skinned)
  • 30g (1oz) butter, plus extra for frying
  • small bunchfresh tarragon
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) vermouthor dry white wine)

Remember we don’thave any vermouth or wine, so instead, we’ll substitute with

  • ¼ pint White Grape Juice
  • ¼ pint White WineVinegar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200 ml extra thick double cream
  • 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) milk
  • a squeeze oflemon juice
  1. Put grapesinto a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 1 minute.

  2. Sieve incolander out of boiling water and into cold water.

  3. Using a small sharp knife, slip off the skinsand slice in half lengthways

  4. Place all grape halves into a bowl. Cover andchill until needed.

  5. Cut each sole fillet in half lengthways

  6. Season well with salt and pepper

  7.  Roll uptightly, keeping the skinned side inside

  8. Place rolledfillets of sole into the pan with two sprigs of fresh tarragon

    (if you wish, you use cod fillets instead)

  9. Then pour over thevermouth or dry white wine

  10. We will use oursubstitute instead, so:

  11. Pour Over:

  12.  ¼ pint WhiteGrape Juice

  13.   ¼ pint WhiteWine Vinegar

  14. Place the pan over medium heat and bring up to agood simmer

  15.  Cover andpoach for three-four minutes

  16.  Hold a warmserving dish firmly while you transfer the sole to it

  17.  Cover withfoil 

  18. Place the sole poaching liquid over high heatuntil reduced to 1/3 of its volume

  19. Preheat the grill to high

  20. Melt butter in a small saucepan

  21. Put in the plain flour and stir to make a smoothpaste (no lumps)

  22. Cook for two minutes over low heat to cook out theflour

  23. Gradually add the reduced poaching liquid,double cream, and milk

  24. Whisk until it’s all incorporated and you have alight sauce the thickness of single cream

  25. Salt and pepper to taste is needed here, andalso a squeeze of lemon juice

  26. Loosen with a little warm water I sauce is toothick

  27. Pour sauce over the poached sole, scatter prepared grapes over fish

  28. Place under the grill for three to four minutesuntil golden brown on top

  29. Finally, scatter with a little more choppedfresh tarragon

  30. Serve three sole fillets per person

Here’s something to think about; Chef Auguste Escoffier created Sole Veronique in 1898 at the London Carlton Hotel. The purpose was to celebrate the opera called Veronique.

This dish is of world renown, yet if you start now, you will be able to cook this famous dish within less than an hour!

Just remember about the substitutions and how to do them, and you’ll become your own family’s Wonder Chef in no time at all! I wish you great success with your endeavors in the kitchen and hope you enjoy your cooking enormously and have tremendous success with accomplishing the substitute.

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