Sherry Vinegar Substitute – 7 Effective Alternatives To Try

Finding a proper sherry vinegar substitute is not easy. Honestly, there are no other vinegar or ingredients that perfectly mimic the complex flavor of this vinegar.

However, when your recipe demands sherry vinegar and you don’t have it; you have to find an agreeable replacement for it.

In this article, you’ll read about a few worthy substitutes for sherry vinegar just enough to save your recipe.

Best Substitutes For Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is less common than other vinegar for its exotic profile.

If you are in a pinch or can’t find it in your nearby grocery stores, here are some of the best sherry vinegar substitutes:

1. Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

Rice wine vinegar, also known as rice vinegar, has a similar acidity level and flavor profile to sherry vinegar. One is made from grape wine but the other is made from rice wine.

Rice vinegar is popularly used in East Asian cooking like sushi rice, sauces, and meat dishes.

In terms of cost, rice vinegar is much cheaper than sherry vinegar.

Rice vinegar works very well in place of sherry vinegar for sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes. This vinegar can also add a pop of flavor to your main course or use to pickle vegetables.

Substitute using a 1:1 ratio in any recipe that calls for sherry vinegar. If this vinegar isn’t available to you, even an ingredient equivalent to rice vinegar can be used.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Replacement

is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. It has a moderately complex flavor with the fruity taste of apples.

Unlike sherry vinegar, ACV is easily available and much cheaper as well.

The downside of using ACV in place of sherry vinegar is the level of acidity. This vinegar is more acidic than sherry vinegar.

The fruity flavor of ACV may not rightly fit into all recipes that call for sherry vinegar but works for some.

If you happen to have sherry wine on hand, just a splash with the cider vinegar to take care of the missing flavor.

While substituting, use ACV in slightly less quantity than sherry vinegar to balance the level of acidity. In an emergency, a suitable apple cider vinegar substitute can be used in place of sherry vinegar.

3. Champagne Vinegar

champagne vinegar

In comparison to sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar is slightly sweeter and less harsh.

Please note that using too much champagne vinegar can make your dish sweeter. You might have to tweak some things along the way depending on the dish, but overall, it’s a pretty similar replacement.

For example, you can reduce the sweetness of champagne vinegar by blending it with white wine vinegar.

Champagne vinegar is a good substitute for sherry vinegar in making light sauces, pasta salads, and vinaigrettes. Unfortunately,  champagne vinegar isn’t available everywhere, in such a scenario, even a champagne vinegar substitute can do the magic.

4. White Wine Vinegar

white wine vinegar substitutes

Another agreeable replacement for sherry vinegar is white wine vinegar. Both are grape wine-based vinegar and share a similar grape flavor.

White wine vinegar has a slightly higher level of acidity than sherry vinegar. So use it in less quantity while substituting.

To your benefit, both this vinegar are used in some types of dishes.

You can easily use white wine vinegar in place of sherry vinegar in salad dressing, European soups, stews, and marinades.

Using a mixture of white wine vinegar and sherry wine is an excellent swap for sherry vinegar. If it isn’t feasible, choose a substitute option for white wine vinegar.  For every tablespoon of white wine vinegar add half a teaspoon of sherry wine while preparing this mixture.

5. Red Wine Vinegar

red wine vinegar substitute

Red wine vinegar is made from, yup, red wine. Besides the acetic acid flavor, it has a more vibrant grape flavor. Of all the wine vinegar, red wine vinegar seems to be punchier, hot, and robust.

Most of us love red wine vinegar for its complex and bold taste. Anyways, it is much stronger than sherry vinegar.

When you use red wine vinegar as a sherry vinegar substitute, start by using less.

This substitute works best in something hearty like roasted vegetables or meat. Just drizzle it over pasta salad, green salad, or vinegary French potato salad in place of sherry vinegar. If this vinegar isn’t available, another ingredient similar to red wine vinegar can still save your recipe.

6. Lemon/Lime Juice

lemon juice substitute

Citrus juice like lemon or lime is the best natural substitute for any type of vinegar.

Vinegar contains acetic acid but lemon juice contains citric acid. So it is obvious that the flavor profile of lemon juice is quite different from vinegar.

But when you don’t have sherry vinegar, one or two teaspoons of lemon juice can provide the appealing flavor of vinegar to your dishes. Instead of lime juice, even lemon juice or lime zest may work for some recipes.

7. Sherry


Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown in Andalusia, Spain.

Sherry wine on its own can work as a sherry vinegar substitute in some dishes. This can provide the fruity flavor of sherry to your dishes.

Most chefs prefer to use a blend of sherry and white or red wine vinegar in a 1:1 ratio instead of using sherry wine alone.

Importantly, the flavor of sherry can vary according to the type of sherry used. Preferably, use dry sherry for substituting sherry wine vinegar.

As a word of caution, cooking with any alcoholic beverage like sherry adds alcoholic content to your dish. Thus it is not a perfect substitute option for people who strictly avoid alcohol.


Can I use white vinegar instead of sherry vinegar?

White vinegar is a neutral substitute for any type of vinegar including sherry vinegar. However, white vinegar is more acidic and harsh. Sherry vinegar has a roundness of flavor with a rich nutty taste but you’ll not find that pleasant flavor in white vinegar.

Can you use balsamic vinegar instead of sherry vinegar?

The sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar isn’t an ideal replacement for sherry vinegar yet it’ll work. To your advantage, balsamic vinegar is cheaper and easily available in most groceries. Both of them have almost equal levels of acidic qualities thus use the same amount of balsamic vinegar as the sherry vinegar in your cooking.

Is red wine vinegar the same as sherry vinegar?

Both are made from fermented wine but they are not the same.

Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine and is mostly tangy with little sweetness. Sherry vinegar, exclusively made in Spain, is produced from fermented sherry wine. Sherry vinegar is superior vinegar with a rich nutty sweet flavor. They can be used interchangeably despite their differences in flavor.

Can I substitute mirin for sherry vinegar?

Mirin alone would not be a good alternative to sherry vinegar. However, a combination of mirin and dry sherry in equal amounts will be a lot similar to the actual sherry vinegar. You can also add a little white sugar to this mixture to bring in the sweetness of sherry vinegar.

Is sherry vinegar the same as dry sherry?

Sherry vinegar, made from fermented regular sherry wine, is a high-quality vinegar with a wonderful taste. However, dry sherry has a wine taste and it’s neither acidic nor has the qualities of genuine vinegar. If you have run short of sherry vinegar, then think of using another type of vinegar in place of it.

The Bottom Line

The best substitute for sherry vinegar is rice vinegar which has the closest flavor profile and acidity strength to sherry vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar and red or white wine vinegar will work as a suitable replacement for sherry vinegar.

If you have sherry wine on hand, simply drizzle it with any other vinegar to take care of the sherry flavor.

The ultimate choice for you is none other than the humble lemon juice which is a universal substitute for any vinegar.

For further reading, also see all the important facts about vinegar, different types of vinegar for cooking, and the complete list of substitutes for different types of vinegar here on Authority Health Mag.