Red Wine Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try for Your Recipes

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By Maria Turner • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Red Wine Vinegar Substitutes

Red wine vinegar is a versatile kitchen ingredient that culinary experts love. You can use it in salads, marinades, including reductions. It can enhance the flavor of fish, seafood, and beef, and also make mushrooms stand out! You can really enjoy food on your dinner table with this ingredient.

But how often do you find yourself reaching for an empty bottle of red wine vinegar? It’s not uncommon to run out of this product—that’s why it’s important to have red wine vinegar substitutes. We’re going to list several suitable options should you run out of them once again.

Alternatives to Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar can enhance the flavor of an array of dishes. From salads, marinades to side dishes, your dish can taste flat without one. Additionally, red wine vinegar can impart a rich and deep flavor. You also use it to add acidity.

So red wine vinegar alternatives can either add tang or give the dish a deep flavor. And some other options can do both; that’s why you should practice careful substitution.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

A vinegar to vinegar is a good substitution. Suppose you’re after the tangy taste of vinegar. If the recipe calls for a little amount of vinegar, it won’t change its flavor. But if the recipe needs a substantial amount of vinegar, add only small portions of the substitute. And see if it does not mess up with the final flavor of the recipe.

For instance, you can use 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 tbsp of red wine. ACV tastes milder than red wine vinegar. It has a strong taste of fermented apples but has a bit of tang to it.

Red wine vinegar, on the other hand, has a more sharp and tangy flavor. So mixing apple cider vinegar with red wine can make it taste sharper, richer, and taste similar to red wine vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar

You often use balsamic vinegar in salads and dressings. It also works well for deglazing the pan and making sauces. Balsamic vinegar adds a tangy and zesty flavor to your greens. The sweet taste of balsamic vinegar can make even a side dish stand out.

Though it has a milder taste than red wine vinegar, it’s still a great substitute for salads. It’s also an ideal substitute for Italian dishes.

If the balsamic vinegar turned out to be too sweet, try taking out a portion of the recipe’s sweet ingredients. Doing this will somehow balance all the flavors out.

Red wine

Red wine is a straightforward substitute for red wine vinegar. These two things have a very similar consistency, so that you can get away with this substitution. That’s as long as you’re not using red wine vinegar to add acid to the dish; otherwise, your food won’t have any tang or acidity. Instead, it can have a deeper and richer flavor.

Since red wine isn’t tangy, it’s ideal for substitutes in marinades. Using it in salads, however, may not be as appropriate.

White vinegar and red wine

This one is a kitchen hack that you must know— it can save you from all the hassle. You can make your red wine vinegar by combining white vinegar and red wine.

Add equal parts of white vinegar and red wine, and this is perhaps one of the great substitutes for red wine vinegar we’ve got. You get the same flavor from the red wine, while the white vinegar gives that kick and tanginess. Thus, you can use this substitute in almost all recipes that call for red wine vinegar.

It’s so easy that you might be making it more often.

Lemon juice (or lime juice)

Lemon or lime juice can add acidity to any recipe. Thus, it can give sharpness to dishes that use red wine vinegar for the acid. But note that it won’t have the same flavor and taste as red wine. Thus, it should only be substituted if you use red wine to acidify the dish.

Please don’t use it for a recipe that calls for the rich and deep red wine flavor. Otherwise, it can overwhelm the dish and turn out too sour.

Tamarind paste

Red wine vinegar is often added to marinades to tenderize the meat. No matter how premium the cut of meat is, it won’t be tender without the acids. The acids break down the collagen so that the other flavors of the marinade can penetrate it. Also, it makes the meat softer.

Tamarind paste can also break down collagen and make the meat softer. Hence, you can use it in marinades. But it can have a different taste from red wine vinegar, so use a small amount first.

Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar is more like apple cider vinegar. The taste is milder and can be slightly sweeter than dry red wine. So if you’re going to use sherry vinegar as a red wine vinegar substitute, there are two things that you can do.

One, use only a small portion of sherry vinegarand taste the dish at a time. Ensure that it won’t affect the overall taste of the recipe. It should give just the right tang without making the recipe too sweet.

And two, if it comes out too sweet, you can pick out some of the sweet ingredients from the dish. Doing this can balance out the flavor of the recipe.

Champagne vinegar

Champagne vinegar is a light floral vinegar that has a slight sweetness to it. You often use this type of vinegar in salads that need a slightly milder taste.

That’s why if you’re going to use it as a red wine vinegar alternative, the dish can taste somewhat flat and may lack acidity. Hence, you can add more champagne vinegar to marinades until it reaches the desired flavor and level of acidity that the recipe requires.

What is the Best Rice Vinegar Substitute for Sushi

Rice vinegar

Asian cooking often utilizes this type of vinegar. It’s made from fermented rice and has a slightly sweet flavor. Rice vinegarhas less acid and less tang compared to red wine vinegar, that’s why you might need more than equal amountsof substitutes when using rice wine. You can add more rice wine vinegar in placeof red wine vinegaruntil the dish reaches the desired tanginess.

Bottom line

You never have to run out of red wine vinegar again.

These substitutions can work, and it can make your life easier in the kitchen. You can’t always run to the grocery store whenever you need a refill of red wine vinegar.

But do note that these substitutes for red wine vinegar may not work for all dishes that use red wine vinegar. To know which is the most suitable alternative, ask yourself this question: Does the recipe need red wine vinegar for its acidity or rich deep flavor?