Is White Vinegar the Same as White Wine Vinegar?
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Is White Vinegar the Same as White Wine Vinegar?

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

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?

Cider vinegar is a good substitute for white vinegar in recipes, such as this coleslaw recipe. Substitute 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar for 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. You can add more cider vinegar to the dressing to taste, if you'd like.

Lemon juice also makes a good white vinegar substitute for some 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 and Champagne vinegar are both good subtitutes 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.

Substitute 1 tablespoon of any of these vinegars for 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.

Wondering about how some other common types of vinegar compare? Here are a few more details --

White wine vinegar vs. Rice vinegar
White wine vinegar is made from fermented white wine, while rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. These vinegars actually taste pretty similar. They both have mild flavors. However, rice vinegar can be a little sweeter than white wine vinegar. It's a staple in many Asian recipes. Rice wine can also come in seasoned varieties, which will taste different from regular white wine vinegar.

White wine vinegar vs. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple cider. It has a fruity flavor and is reported to have many health benefits. You can substitute white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar in a recipe if needed.

White wine vinegar vs. Red wine vinegar
As you can probably guess, red wine vinegar is made from fermented red wine. So, the difference between white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar are similar to the differences between the two types of wine. Red wine vinegar is usually more robust, and it's more suited to recipes with red meat. White wine vinegar is lighter and more delicate. It's better in recipes with white meat, fish, and vegetables. Both work well in salad dressings, but the flavors will differ.

Balsamic Vinegar, White Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, and cooking oils

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.

Is distilled vinegar the same as white vinegar? For cooking, distilled white vinegar and white vinegar generally mean the same thing. Most white vinegars you buy at the grocery store for cooking will be labelled "distilled white vinegar," and you can use them in recipes that call for white vinegar. The acidity of this product is about 5%.

However, industrial strength white vinegar does exist. It can have an acidity of 10%-25% and is definitely not for cooking. So, if you're cooking at someone else's house, don't just assume that a jug labeled white vinegar is OK to use for your salad dressing recipe. Read the label first.

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.

To choose a good white wine vinegar at the store, you can check out these recommendations from Cooks Illustrated. In general, their tasters found that white wine vinegars with at least a 6% acidity, and a few calories per serving, had the most balanced flavor.

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

Bonus! How to Store Vinegar

Now that you know all about different types of vinegar, it's important to know how to store them! Store vinegar in a cool, dark place, and always replace the cap after opening. Heat and direct sunlight can actually cause the vinegar to ferment further, altering its taste. If vinegar appears cloudy or has an unusually sharp or sour taste, throw it out.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Our Favorite Recipes with Vinegar

  • Must Have Classic Deviled Eggs
    Whip up a batch of these deviled eggs for your next get-together! They will definitely "wow" the crowd. They have that rich and tangy flavor that everyone loves in deviled eggs. And yet, this recipe is super simple to make. Be sure to bookmark this recipe, because you'll return to it again and again.
  • Grandma's Magic Cake Recipe
    Did you know that white vinegar can be an important ingredient in baked goods? It's true! Can you use white wine vinegar in baking? We don't recommend substituting white wine vinegar if the recipe calls for white vinegar. White wine vinegar will add extra flavors that might clash with the flavor of the baked good.
  • Best-Ever Refrigerator Dill Pickles
    If you've ever wanted to make pickles at home, this recipe is a great one to try! It's super easy, and the results are delicious. Upgrade your sandwich game with homemade refrigerator pickles.
  • Luscious Berry Mini Pavlovas
    Try another delicious baking recipe using vinegar! This amazing dessert seems fancy but is easier to make than you might think. Enjoy it with plenty of fruit compote for a summery treat that everyone will love.

Luscious Berry Mini Pavlovas

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

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