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Is White Vinegar the Same as White Wine Vinegar?

Can you substitute white vinegar for white wine vinegar? Find out!

Updated March 06, 2020
Is White Vinegar the Same as White Wine Vinegar

Let's discuss vinegar! In this article we'll cover --

  1. Are white vinegar and white wine vinegar the same? (Hint: They're not.)
  2. What can you substitute for them?
We'll also take a look at what exactly white vinegar and white wine vinegar are. The answers may surprise you! We've consulted cooking experts like Bon Appétit and Cooks Illustrated to answer the technical parts of these questions.

We'll also ask a RecipeLion.com editor for a first-hand take on the differences between these two cooking staples.

Let's dive in.

Is white vinegar the same as white wine vinegar?

No, white vinegar is not the same as white wine vinegar. You should not substitute white wine vinegar for white vinegar (or vice versa), because their flavors are very different. You also should not substitute one for the other for canning, cleaning, or other purposes.

Read on to learn more!

White Vinegar vs White Wine Vinegar

What can you substitute for white vinegar?

Lemon juice or cider vinegar are good substitutes for white vinegar in recipes.

Do not make substitutions if using vinegar in canning. Follow the recipe as written. Using a different type of vinegar can change the acidity of whatever you are canning, which can affect the safety of the food once it is preserved.

What can you substitute for white wine vinegar?

Rice vinegar is also mild, and it is a good subtitute for white wine vinegar. You can also substitute red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar in some recipes. For example, you can make a tasty vinaigrette with red wine vinegar.

More Information about White Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar

What is white vinegar?

White vinegar has a strong, sharp flavor profile. It smells and tastes very sour.

It's made by fermenting grain alcohol (which is similar to vodka), which results in acetic acid. The acid can also be created in a lab. That acid is then diluted with water to a 5%-10% solution that we buy in the store as white vinegar.

Heinz distilled white vinegar, for example, is 5% acidity. They also make a cleaning strength vinegar that's a little stronger, at 6% acidity.

White vinegar

What should you use white vinegar for?

Because white vinegar is so acidic, it is great for cleaning. It's also great for pickling, a process that requires a lot of acid. You can also use white vinegar in a recipe that calls specifically for white vinegar, of course. Some more robust recipes with lots of sugar for balance are the perfect home for this ingredient.

White vinegar and white wine vinegar

What is white wine vinegar?

White wine vinegar is mild and slightly fruity. It smells sweeter compared to white vinegar, and the taste is much less lip-puckeringly sour.

It's made by fermenting white wine, which results in acetic acid. Like white vinegar, white wine vinegar is usually sold in concentrations around 5%-7% acidity. But the flavor in white wine vinegar is milder because the acid in the vinegar retains some of the flavors of the original wine grapes.

Cooks Illustrated taste tested white wine vinegars and found that their tasters could tell which vinegars were made from sweeter wines. Sweeter wines left more residual sugar, resulting in a more delicious vinegar!

Editor Kristin Anderson says white vinegar is more sour than white wine vinegar She would prefer white wine vinegar for cooking

What should you use white wine vinegar for?

White wine vinegar is great for cooking! Use it to make salad dressing, to whip up a quick pan sauce, or to marinate poultry. Of course, also use it as directed in recipes.

White wine vinegar

There you have it! We hope you learned a bit about these two common types of vinegar and can now confidently use each as you cook (or clean!).

Do you have thoughts on using either type of vinegar? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments below!

What is your favorite type of vinegar to cook with? Let us know in the comments!

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