Best Red Wine Vinegar Substitutes – 8 Flavorful Options

In cooking, ingredient substitution is something you must be adept at handling. Imagine you are out of red wine vinegar but need more time to get it. Stop panicking! In this article, I’ve got a list of great substitutes for red wine vinegar that you can comfortably use.

I’m sure at least one of these substitutes is already in your pantry.

Remember, the choice of vinegar substitute depends on the demands of the recipe and its flavor.

What is red wine vinegar?

Typically, making vinegar involves fermenting a carbohydrate source into alcohol. Acetobacter bacteria that turn alcohol into acetic acid are responsible for the strong aroma of vinegar.

Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine.

Many of us like to relish the pungent and vibrant grape taste of homemade red wine vinegar in recipes, besides its many other household uses.

In cooking, it’s popularly used for salad dressings and marinades. Also, this vinegar can flavor dishes made of pork, beef, or vegetables.

French foodies love to have it for vinaigrettes and marinades.

Best red wine vinegar substitutes

Now, ‘What can I substitute when my recipe calls for red wine vinegar?’ Fortunately, you have a couple of good replacements from wine sources and other kinds of vinegar when you’re in a pinch. Here are the best alternatives I’ve found:

1. Red wine

Red wine, well appreciated for several health benefits, is the source of red wine vinegar. Therefore, red wine is a natural ingredient to use in place of red wine vinegar in some recipes.

You can use seasoned red wine in vinaigrette recipes that require red wine vinegar.

Red wine may not work for salad dressing because it will only emulsify with vinegar. So, for this reason, some prefer to use a mixture of red and white wine vinegar to get it right.

In short, you cannot use red wine as a replacement for red wine vinegar in recipes that need the acidic properties of vinegar.

2. White wine vinegar

Red and white wines are different, as are red and white wine vinegar. Yet they both retain the aroma of grapes.

Though they differ in color, they have a closely matching flavor profile that is difficult to distinguish.

White wine vinegar is light and more delicate in flavor and unsuitable for red meat use.

Also, you can recreate the flavor of red wine vinegar by using a mixture of red and white wine vinegar.

Use white wine vinegar in a 1:1 ratio instead of red wine vinegar.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Both apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar share a fruity flavor; one has an apple flavor, and the other has the flavor of grapes.

The sweetness and acidic properties of both of these vinegars are quite similar. You usually won’t notice the difference between them in a finished dish.

Substitute four tablespoons of red wine vinegar, three tablespoons of ACV, and one tablespoon of red wine. This combination of apple cider vinegar and red wine works like vinegar.

4. Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar is a gourmet wine vinegar made from sherry.

Due to its aging in barrels, this vinegar is dark amber with some shades of mahogany, and its aroma contains hints of nuts and wood.

It works best in vinaigrettes and is also used instead of wine to deglaze pans or add a little flavor to stews, sauces, and soups.

The flavor is less harsh and acidic. While substituting sherry vinegar for red wine vinegar, use it in a little more quantity.

5. Rice wine vinegar

Rice wine vinegar is slightly sweeter and milder than red wine vinegar.

The tangy flavor of rice wine vinegar is similar to that of red wine vinegar.

As a substitute for red wine vinegar, rice vinegar is best suited for sauces, marinades, stir-fries, French fries, and pickling.

Due to its subdued flavor, it uses a 1:1 ratio for substitution. If required, add more rice vinegar until you obtain the desired taste of red wine vinegar.

6. Champagne vinegar

Champagne is another wine vinegar, a mild, floral vinegar typically made from pinot noir grapes and Chardonnay.

You’ll love it, as it’s slightly sweeter and less harsh than red wine vinegar.

Works well for salad dressings and marinades. Just like red wine vinegar, it gives a heartier flavor to beef, pork, and vegetables.

For mild vinegar, use a little more quantity of this vinegar as a replacement for red wine vinegar; otherwise, your dish will taste a little flat.

7. Lemon or lime juice

Lemon or lime juice contains citric acid, but vinegars have acetic acid. There is no connection between the flavor profiles of lemon juice and red wine vinegar.

However, lemon juice is a universal substitute for all types of vinegar.

You can easily use lime juice in lieu of red wine vinegar if it does not matter for the flavor profile of your recipe.

The acidity or sourness of lemon or lime brightens the flavor of food just like red wine vinegar does. Use lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar; the substitution quantity depends on the acidity required for the recipe.

8. Tamarind paste

Lastly, use tamarind paste as a substitute for red wine vinegar when left with nothing. It works as a fantastic alternative to vinegar, especially in savory dishes.

The protein-denaturing properties of tamarind are useful for marinating seafood. Many Asian cuisines have tamarind as a staple ingredient for marinating and adding a sour flavor.

Final Thought

Red wine vinegar is a staple of Italian and American salad dressings and also pairs nicely in marinated fish and meat recipes, and studies suggest it helps people with diabetes.

According to my findings, the best substitute for red wine vinegar is equal parts white and red wine. If you dislike alcohol, try mixing grape juice and white vinegar.

White wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and apple cider vinegar can all be substituted for red wine vinegar.

Use the substitutes wisely according to the flavor profile of your recipe.

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