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17 Unique Substitutes For White Wine To Add For Risotto

Quick Answer: What Are The Best Substitutes For White Wine In Risotto?

Substituting white wine with another type of alcohol can change the flavor of the dish. You can use any of the substitutes for white wine to prepare risotto: Grape juice, vegetable stock, chicken stock, apple cider vinegar , white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, bouillon cubes, cognac, and water.

If you love Italian food, then risotto will surely be on your list of favorite dishes. It is a traditional rice dish from Italy predominantly made from short-grained and starchy Arborio rice. 

Although risotto tastes heavenly, it is tricky to make it at home. You need to be spot on with the right amount of ingredients and the right amount of stirring.

Moreover, you must be careful about adding its ingredients at the right time to get that deliciously perfect texture and consistency.

White wine is one of the main ingredients in preparing a traditional risotto. However, what if you don’t have white wine at home, or if you don’t have a taste for white wine? There is nothing to worry about as we give you seventeen easy-to-use substitutes for white wine, which will provide an equally delicious taste and texture to your risotto.

Now let’s briefly discuss these substitutes and see how they can be used in place of white wine and still make your dish equally appetizing. 

1. Grape Juice

white wine in risotto substitute

White wine is typically made from fermented white grapes, which makes grape juice, specifically juice of fresh white grapes, an ideal replacement for white wine in risotto.

It is known that when risotto is cooked, a lot of alcohol from white wines boils off. Therefore, the unique flavor that risotto gets is not all because of the alcohol in the wine.

If you don’t have white wine at home or want to prepare alcohol-free risotto, the freshly extracted juice of white grapes is the best option for you. 

To prepare grape juice at home, add washed white grapes into a blender, add some water, and blend the contents for a minute. Finally, strain the contents to remove the pulp, giving you freshly squeezed grape juice. If you want, you can add a bit of lemon juice to give a tangy flavor.

The following video explains the simple process of extracting the juice of fresh grapes at home. Avoid adding sugar to your juice, as you don’t want your risotto to taste sweet. However, add a tablespoon of lime juice to add some tanginess. 

How To Substitute

Therefore, it is better if you purchase fresh grapes from the market and take out their fresh juice, which can be used in 1:1 proportion when compared with white wine. In addition, grape juice is rich in Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium, making it a healthier substitute for white wine.

2. Apple Juice

white wine in risotto substitute

Like fresh grapes, you can also use fresh apples to prepare organic apple juice at home. The method is the same.

Wash some apples, dice them into pieces, remove their seeds, and put them into a blender. Pour some water into the blender and blend the contents for a minute.

Strain the contents to remove the pulp, and you will get fresh and healthy apple juice, free from added sugar and preservatives.

Apples, which are relatively more acidic than white wines, provide the citrusy flavor to risotto, and white wine can be easily substituted by apple juice in almost every dish.

Moreover, fresh apple juice is rich in nutrients like Vitamin C and B6, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, and Manganese.  

How To Substitute

You can substitute white wine with the same quantity of apple juice. Or, you can have 50% apple juice and 50% vinegar too. But make sure you use freshly prepared apple juice instead of packed juices available in the market.

3. Lime Or Lemon Juice

white wine in risotto substitute

You can replace white wine with freshly squeezed lemon juice if you love tangy and citrusy flavors in your risotto. 

Lemon juice or lime is an essential ingredient in many recipes, as it provides a punchy tanginess to a dish and is nutritious as well. A half cup of lemon juice can fulfill your daily requirements of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, and Magnesium.

But you should be careful when using lemon juice in your dishes. It contains citric acid, and thus it has more tart than white wine. Therefore, before replacing white wine with lemon juice, you should dilute it with water.

Once you have squeezed some lemons, add an equal amount of water to dilute the juice. You can then use this mix of lemon juice and water as a substitute for white wine in your risotto.

How To Substitute

You should not rely on packaged lemon juice like grape and apple juice as it contains sugar, artificial colors, and preservatives. Instead, take some fresh lemons, cut them into equal halves, take out their seeds and squeeze them. You can also use a lemon squeezer to make your job easier.

4. Vegetable Stock

white wine in risotto substitute

If you want to make a vegan, non-alcoholic risotto, then vegetable stock (or vegetable broth) is a healthy option. Vegetable stock is more beneficial than chicken stock as it has more nutritional value in lesser calories. 

Vegetable stock is generally prepared using veggies like mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, leek, and garlic.

However, you can add vegetables of your choice, like sweetcorn, cauliflowers, capsicum, potatoes, or even pumpkins.

You can also put some peppercorns, ginger, and bay leaves for a mouthwatering aromatic flavor. However, don’t add salt to it.

How To Substitute

Due to its thick consistency, vegetable stock can easily replace an equal amount of white wine in risotto. Preparing vegetable stock is easy. Add all the vegetables (diced and unpeeled) to the water, and cook them for around thirty minutes. Then strain the contents to separate the pulp from the stock. 

5. Chicken Stock

white wine in risotto substitute

Chicken stock is prepared by adding chicken, bones, and vegetables of your choice into the water and cooking them for around thirty minutes. 

You can also add herbs to give extra flavor to your stock. But make sure you don’t add salt, as stock is generally not the final product. It is mainly used as an ingredient in other dishes, and salt is added while preparing the main dish. 

Cans of chicken stock are readily available in the market, but nothing beats the taste of chicken stock prepared at home. And the best part is, it is straightforward to make.

How To Substitute

You can substitute one cup of white wine with two cups of chicken stock and a cup of water. In addition, you can add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice to the stock to provide a tangy flavor to your risotto.

6. Beef Bone Broth

white wine in risotto substitute

If you are a lover of beef or prefer beef over chicken, you can prepare beef bone broth at your home. The recipe is almost the same as chicken stock; you can add vegetables. 

You can add bay leaves, herbs, and peppercorns to your broth to provide the flavors. And, like vegetable and chicken stock, do not add salt to the broth. 

Once your broth is ready, you can refrigerate it for future usage. 

How To Substitute

Beef has a more robust flavor as compared to chicken. Therefore, while preparing beef bone broth, you must keep tasting the flavor to match your taste. Generally, one or two big beef cut pieces are sufficient to prepare a beef broth, which can be used as a substitute for one cup of white wine. 

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

white wine in risotto substitute

Apple Cider Vinegar is known for its numerous health benefits. It aids weight loss, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood sugar levels, and has antioxidant effects. 

If you are looking for a healthy substitute for white wine in risotto, you can go with apple cider vinegar, readily available at any grocery store. But they generally have preservatives and added sugar. 

If you have patience and believe in home-prepared products, you can prepare apple cider vinegar in your kitchen and use it for various purposes. The best thing about apple cider vinegar is that if it is properly fermented, it can be used forever!

How To Substitute

Apple Cider Vinegar is potent. Therefore, you should dilute it with an equal amount of water before using it as a replacement for white wine. For example, for one cup of white wine, you can use one cup of apple cider vinegar diluted in water.

8. Fruit Vinegar

white wine in risotto substitute

Just like Apple Cider Vinegar, you can go for Fruit Vinegar, which is prepared from various fruits, instead of just apples. You can purchase a bottle of Fruit Vinegar, but make sure it is organic and free from preservatives and added sugar. 

If you want to expand your cooking skills, prepare some fruit vinegar in your kitchen. It will be a healthier option compared to the available ones in the market.

Generally, fruits like apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, and apricots are used to prepare Fruit Vinegar. However, you can add fruits of your own choice.

How To Substitute

Substituting White Wine with Fruit Vinegar is simple. You have to maintain a 1:1 ratio. You can also add some water to Fruit Vinegar to dilute it, as per your taste. 

9. White Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar is another easy-to-use product that can act as a supplant for white wine in risotto. It is majorly used to soften the meat and fish dishes, but it can also be aptly used in risotto. 

As explained earlier, cooking reduces the alcohol content in a dish. So, if you wish to minimize the liquor content of your dish, you can heat or stew your dish for a bit longer.

If you don’t know which White Wine Vinegar is the best, check out the experts’ video from America’s Test Kitchen:

How To Substitute

Replacing white wine with white wine vinegar is no rocket science. You just need to maintain a ratio of 1:2 while replacing white wine with white wine vinegar, i.e., for one teaspoon of white wine, add two teaspoons of white wine vinegar and a bit of lemon juice for tanginess.

10. Red Wine Vinegar

Red Wine Vinegar has a solid taste. Though it can replace White Wine in risotto, it is better to add it in small quantities and check the taste. Then, if you need more, you can add more according to your taste. 

Red Wine Vinegar is prepared from red grapes, and, of course, it is red. So, if you want to add some color to your dish, or if you don’t care about the color of your dish, you can go with red wine vinegar.   

How To Substitute

Red Wine Vinegar is potent. It is brutal. Therefore, you should dilute it generously; otherwise, it can affect your teeth’s enamel. For one portion of white wine, you can use an equal part of diluted red wine vinegar or a mix of red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar.

11. White Rice Vinegar

White Rice Vinegar is prepared from fermented, aged white rice and is quite famous in East Asia and Southeast Asia. However, it does not have a fruity flavor. So, a bit of lemon juice can be added to provide a fruity and tangy flavor to your dish.

It is an excellent option for rice dishes, and risotto is one of them.

The following video explains the steps you need to take if you are planning to prepare white rice vinegar on your own: 

How To Substitute

You can maintain a ratio of 1:1 while replacing white wine with white rice vinegar. You can also add some white wine vinegar and a bit of red wine vinegar to white rice vinegar and use this concoction instead of white wine. 

12. Bouillon Cubes

Bouillon Cubes are vegetarian and non-vegetarian stock cubes prepared from vegetables and/or meat. Compared to liquid stock and broth, these cubes are easier to store.

You can either prepare Bouillon Cubes in your kitchen or grab them from a nearby grocery store. You can then make a broth by adding these cubes to boiling water. Once the cubes are transformed into a broth, you can use them in risotto or any dish of your choice.

Bouillon Cubes generally contain more salt than broth. Therefore, you need to watch out for the quantity of salt. However, you can probably taste your dish regularly and add the salt only if required.

How To Substitute

To prepare risotto, one cube of bouillon is equivalent to two small cups of white wine. But make sure you take care of the amount of salt you add to the risotto.  

13. Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese is a Greek cheese typically produced from sheep or goats’ milk. It is made in large blocks, later brined to give it a salty and tangy taste. 

Feta Cheese has a tanginess, which makes it a decent substitute, especially if your purpose is to provide a strong flavor to the dish. 

Check out the following sumptuous recipe, which explains how you can use Feta Cheese in risotto:

How To Substitute

Feta Cheese has a strong, pungent taste. Therefore, you have to be careful while using it in your dish. However, for one teaspoon of white wine in risotto, you can have ½ a slice of feta cheese. 

14. Cognac

If you love the taste of brandy, you can easily substitute it for white wine while preparing risotto. It will give a strong flavor and a mouthwatering texture to your dish.

You don’t have to take care of anything else using Brandy instead of White Wine. Simply add it to your dish while constantly stirring it.

If you are still not sure about how to use cognac as a substitute for white wine in risotto, check out the following video:

How To Substitute

While supplanting white wine with cognac (or brandy), maintain a 1:1 ratio. But you must be careful if you use a gas stove, as it can ignite. Pour a small amount of brandy, mix the contents well, and taste the dish. Repeat the process till you get the taste that suits your pallet. 

15. Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale is a carbonated drink made of ginger, lime, and sugar. It is sold under various brand names, but if you want to avoid unhealthy preservatives, you can easily prepare Ginger Ale at home.

Moreover, most Ginger Ale beverages available in the market do not contain actual ginger. Instead, they contain ginger extracts and artificial flavors. 

Ginger Ale, like White Wine, is slightly sweet and acidic. Therefore, if you love the flavor of ginger, you can use it as a replacement for White Wine in risotto.  

Check out the following video and prepare a healthy Ginger Ale drink in your kitchen.

How To Substitute

Substituting White Wine with Ginger Ale is simple. Replace White Wine with an equal quantity of Ginger Ale. Sugar is an essential ingredient of Ginger Ale. If you are preparing Ginger Ale specifically for risotto, keep the amount of sugar in check, as you don’t want your risotto to taste too sweet.

16. Tomato Juice

Though a bit bitter in flavor, Tomato Juice is slightly acidic, which can act as a suitable replacement for white wine. For example, preparing risotto in a mixed sauce can easily use tomato juice instead of white wine. 

Canned tomato juices are available in the market. But they are not too healthy. They contain added colors, added flavors, and preservatives.

So, preparing fresh, organic tomato juice in your kitchen is better. You can preserve the liquid for future uses as well.

Tomato juice is known for its various health benefits, as it is rich in vitamins. Therefore, it is also a healthy substitute for white wine.

Tomato Juice is easy to prepare. Check out the following video, which not only explains how to prepare fresh tomato juice but also shows how you can store them in cans for future use: 

How To Substitute

Tomato Juice doesn’t taste like White Wine at all. Therefore, don’t add too much tomato juice in one go. Instead, add a small amount, stir the ingredients, and taste your dish. You can repeat this process till you get the flavor of your choice.

17. Water

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If you don’t have any of the above substitutes, are too lazy to go to the market to purchase one, or don’t have enough time, you can always use water instead of white wine. 

Though water will not add flavor to risotto, it will help to deglaze. Hence, it will maintain the desired liquid level in your dish and prevent it from getting burnt or turning dry. 

How To Substitute

You can maintain a ratio of 1:1 while replacing White Wine with water. But make sure you keep stirring the ingredients so that water mixes well into the dish. And since water will not provide extra flavor to risotto, you can add some herbs and other flavoring items.

Qucik Table: 3 White Wine Additional Recipes

RecipeCaloriesPreparation Time
White Wine Sauce For Pasta497 Per Serving6 Minutes
Pork Loin With Wine And Herb Gravy303 Per Serving1 Hour 45 Minutes
Classic White Wine Spritzer300 Per Serving1 Hour

1. White Wine Sauce For Pasta

Bursting with exotic flavour in every drop, this is a fresh recipe that is big on the small things. It is incredibly easy to make and the right choice for chicken, pasta and seafood.

Being refreshing and light, it can be on your dinner table in all seasons. 

This recipe is mild, delectable and delicate. It is a favoured base for baked chicken, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, mussels, as well as roasted vegetables among other things. 

Use this easy and quick recipe on a busy weekday and you will gracefully carry away all the credits of a well cooked and satisfying meal done to perfection. 

Calories Per 100g: 497

Total Preparation Time: 6 minutes

2. Pork Loin With Wine And Herb Gravy

Everybody needs a break from daily chicken dinners. This recipe brings you the yumminess of pork loin cooked in wine with herbs.

The recipe has pork loin cooked with garlic, herbs and wine, after which it is sliced up thinly and added to the delicious gravy. 

If you really want to enjoy this impressive feast, you should buy lean and large pieces of pork loin. Go for those that have sufficient fat gap of half an inch or roundabout.

They will moisten the meat and impart the gravy with a lot of flavour. 

As for the herbs, it is better to use fresh ones, but if you are in a pinch, dry ones will also do. 

Calories Per 100 g: 303

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

3. Classic White Wine Spritzer

If you are a real white wine aficionado, this recipe will stay with you through summer and beyond because of its refreshing and light taste. It will make your bottle last longer and make you consume lesser calories.  

While there are no secrets to making this recipe, it is very straightforward; you can add your own twist to it to create your signature dish.

One of the best ways is to flavour the white wine spritzer with fresh fruit. You could go for raspberries or strawberries, or even melon, frozen peaches, and cantaloupe. 

Another interesting option is the use of bitters. They are very intense enhancers of flavour used to season drinks. Use only a couple of drops and you are good. 

Calories Per 100 g: 300

Total Preparation Time: 1 Hour

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use Instead Of White Wine In Risotto?

There are a variety of options you can try. Still, the best substitutes are – Juices (Apple, Lemon, Grapes, or Tomato), Stocks (Vegetable, Chicken, or Beef), and Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, White Rice Vinegar, etc.). 

Can I Substitute White Wine With Vinegar?

You can easily substitute White Wine with Apple Cider Vinegar, Fruit Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, or White Rice Vinegar. Make sure you dilute the vinegar of your choice with some water.

Can I Preserve The Leftover Stock?

Yes, you can refrigerate it. If, in the case of chicken stock, a thick layer of fat forms on the surface, simply skim it before using the stock. 

Should I Add Salt While Preparing Vegetable Or Chicken Stock?

No, you should not add salt to the stocks. A stock is generally an ingredient for the final recipe or the main dish. Salt is added to the main dish. 

Can I Replace White Wine With Any Other Alcoholic Drink?

Yes, you can replace White Wine with an equal amount of Cognac (Brandy). Make sure to add the brandy carefully, especially if you are preparing risotto on a gas stove. 

Can I Replace White Wine With Any Soft Drink?

You can replace White Wine with Ginger Ale, giving risotto a nice, gingery flavor. You can get ginger ale from the market, but it is better to prepare ginger ale at home for the lovely, authentic flavor. 

I Don’t Like White Wine, And I Don’t Have Any Of These Substitutes. Can I Use Water?

Yes, you can. But add some herbs, spices, and other flavoring substances, as water will not add flavor to risotto.  

Can I Skip Wine In Risotto?

Although traditional risotto is prepared with white wine, you can skip it and substitute it with grape juice, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, fruit vinegar, vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef broth, ginger ale, etcetera.  

17 Easy Substitutes For White Wine In Risotto

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

50

minutes

Ingredients

  • Grape Juice

  • Apple Juice

  • Lime or Lemon Juice

  • Vegetable Stock

  • Chicken Stock

  • Beef Bone Broth

  • Apple Cider Vinegar 

  • Fruit Vinegar

  • White Wine Vinegar

  • Red Wine Vinegar

  • White Rice Vinegar

  • Bouillon Cubes

  • Feta Cheese

  • Cognac

  • Ginger Ale

  • Tomato Juice

  • Water

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith