Choosing between the right dry white wine substitutes can mean the difference between a great meal and one that misses the mark.
Dry White Wine Substitutes
Many recipes call for dry white wine, such as chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. Using dry white wine in cooking is popular, especially for sauces and risottos. However, if you prefer non-alcoholic recipes, or if you’re simply out of your favorite white wine, there are several substitutions that work well. The substitute you choose should depend on the kind of recipe you’re making.
Chicken Broth or Vegetable Stock
This works best for savory recipes like stews or soups. They will add some flavor to the dish, without contributing too much sugar or sweetness. Chicken broth with a bit of lime juice is a preferred substitute for white wine in any risotto recipe, whereas vinegar will ruin the dish.
White Grape Juice
When you cut white grape juice with white wine vinegar, it is perhaps the most faithful substitute for dry white wine in cooking. Use three parts juice to one part vinegar. This substitute adds the expected sweetness of the wine, but also the sharp dryness you want. Use juice and vinegar when the recipe depends heavily on the taste of white wine for the flavor profile.
Dry Vermouth or Sherry
This is a great substitute if alcohol in the dish is not an issue. However, be sure to use the driest sherry available.
This marine-derived juice or the juice from canned mushrooms will work as a substitute in savory dishes. Neither tastes like dry white wine exactly, but both will add similar flavor profiles. Adding in a splash of lemon juice will also add tang to the earthiness of both.
If the recipe calls for dry white wine to deglaze a pan, try using lemon juice diluted heavily with either water or white grape juice. This will ensure the dish isn’t missing any brightness from the wine. Diluted lemon juice is also the best substitute to use for any fish dishes.
Ginger Ale or Apple Juice
These can be used if you have no white grape juice available. That being said, both will add a lot of sweetness to your recipe, so add a splash of white wine vinegar, if possible, to cut the sugar.
This is another great citrus juice that will maintain the brightness and tartness of dry white wine. Try using a substitute ratio of one to one lime juice and water.
Regular, filtered water can substitute in any recipe as well but will result in a lack of flavor in the dish unless countered with herbs.
Word of Caution: Cooking with alcoholic beverages results in only some loss of alcohol content. Foods baked or simmered in alcohol can retain anywhere from 4 percent to 85 percent of the alcohol, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data lab.