Champagne vinegar is made by fermenting champagne. It’s a mild, floral vinegar typically made from pinot noir grapes and Chardonnay.
Because of its light and mild taste this vinegar can be used in any recipes that call for any type of vinegar. To your advantage, it provides a sweet and subtle flavor that won’t overpower your recipe.
Champagne vinegar is a delicious addition to seafood recipes, dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces.
Unfortunately, champagne is rather expensive and not easily available everywhere. When you are in pinch, try to use a champagne vinegar substitute to save your recipe.
Best Champagne Vinegar Substitutes
Champagne vinegar is preferred for its light flavor without an overly acidic bite.
As it’s so mild in flavor, make sure to choose a light-flavored vinegar as its substitute. Only a few types of vinegar are suitable to replace it and others will overpower the flavors of recipes that call for champagne vinegar.
Here are some of the best replacements for champagne vinegar that you can use.
White Wine Vinegar
Champagne vinegar made from champagne grapes is more delicate and lighter in flavor than white wine vinegar. However, you can comfortably use the white wine vinegar instead of champagne vinegar in sauces, dressings, and marinades.
Preferably, use white wine vinegar in less quantity to match the acidity level of the former.
Substitute one tablespoon of white vinegar for one and a half tablespoon champagne vinegar.
Rice Wine Vinegar
Rice vinegar has a sweet and mild acidity flavor somewhat similar to champagne vinegar.
If used moderately, the subtle flavor of the rice wine vinegar does not overpower the final product.
Use rice wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar in dipping sauces, dressings, marinades, and seafood dishes.
Next time you run out of champagne vinegar for your favorite recipes, replace it with rice vinegar using a 1:1 ratio.
Lemon juice and champagne vinegar are very different because of the type of acid present in them.
Lemon juice is on average contains five to six percent citric acid. On the other hand, champagne vinegar has a total acidity (acetic acid) of about seven percentages.
Lemon juice is a common substitute for any type of vinegar.
Huffington Post recommends that for every 1 ½ teaspoon of champagne vinegar you can substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Sherry vinegar is sweet and mild like the champagne vinegar. Both are wine vinegar that has the fruity taste of grapes. Thus sherry vinegar is an acceptable champagne vinegar substitute.
Use sherry vinegar in place of champagne vinegar for vinaigrettes and salad dressings, more so than cooking.
Use one tablespoon sherry vinegar as a replacement for every one tablespoon of champagne vinegar.
White Wine Vinegar + Champagne
A mixture of white wine vinegar and champagne is an effective replacement for champagne vinegar. The former provides the vinegar flavor and the latter induces the champagne flavor.
The downside of this blend is the alcohol content in champagne. Even after cooking, the dish will continue to retain a significant amount of alcohol added to it. So, it isn’t a suitable substitute for people who strictly avoid alcohol.
While substituting use one tablespoon of this mixture per one tablespoon of champagne vinegar.
The Bottom Line
Champagne vinegar is the perfect vinegar for recipes where you want a hint of acidity and a fruity flavor of grapes.
This vinegar has a lighter, less harsh, slightly sweeter, more subtle, and more complex flavor profile than most other vinegars.
It’s really hard to substitute it. Even so, I recommend white wine vinegar and sherry vinegar as the closest substitutes for champagne vinegar.