What can I substitute for red wine vinegar?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for red wine vinegar?” and discuss the possible substitutes for red wine vinegar. 

What can I substitute for red wine vinegar?

For some reason, if you need to substitute red wine vinegar you can use its substitutes that include balsamic vinegar, white vinegar mixed with red wine, sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, tamarind paste and raspberry vinegar. These substitutes have the same benefits. 

In Portugal, in 2017 the market for vinegar production represented a value around 11.4 million euros, having grown 5% compared to the year of 2016. On the other hand, the consumption of vinegar is mainly vinegar made from white wine, which accounts for 67% of the total vinegar consumed, following the cider vinegar. Thus, red wine vinegar consumption is still poorly representative (1).

Red wine vinegar 

Red wine vinegar is obtained because of the fermentation of the red vine. It is used in many dishes due to its sweet and slightly tangy flavour. It has many antioxidants. It is mixed with extra virgin olive oil to prepare the salad dressing. 

Red wine vinegars contain higher concentrations of benzoic acid, caftaric acid, coutaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid. Furthermore, the red wine composition used, production technology and aging process has an important effect on functional properties of wine vinegars, namely in phenolic composition (1).

Substitutes for red wine vinegar

If you run out of red wine vinegar, then you can easily switch to its substitutes, which we have described here. These substitutes have the same flavour and taste.

Balsamic vinegar:  

Balsamic vinegar is commonly used in our houses. Which is made from fermented grape juice and features undertones of molasses, cherry, and fig. This is compared with red wine vinegar. It is thicker, darker and sweeter. While cooking you may need to tone down the sweetness of the dish.   

Balsamic vinegars are usually produced from the juice of white grapes (e.g., Lambrusco, Trebbiano and Spergola) that are cooked to concentrate by 50% before placing them in the series of wooden casks called “batteria” where they undergo both alcoholic and acetic fermentation. The resulting vinegar is then matured in a smaller wooden barrel for many years (10–25 years) to achieve the expected viscosity, sweetness, intensity, flavor and aroma profile (2).

Benefits of balsamic vinegar

Other than adding flavour and texture to the dishes it also has health benefits.

  • It helps in reducing blood sugar.
  • Also helps in reducing the level of cholesterol. 
  • Losing weight 
  • Reducing hypertension. 

White vinegar mixed with red wine:

There is another way to make the same version of red wine vinegar by mixing white vinegar and red wine. 1:3 ratios of red wine to white vinegar are a good place to start. 

Health benefits of white vinegar (3):

  • It contains Powerful Nutrients, including flavonoids such as catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, and kaempferol, anthocyanins such as cyanidin-3-glucoside and minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and non-volatile organic acids such as citric, malic and lactic acids.
  • Fight with diabetes.
  • Promotes protection for cancer. 
  • It possesses antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. 

Sherry vinegar:

Sherry vinegar is made from sherry wine. It is commonly used in Spanish dishes.it is sweeter than red wine vinegar, therefore be careful to reduce any sweetness in the original recipe. The ratio we use in place of red wine vinegar is 1:1. 

It is great for brightening up roasted vegetables, soups, meats, vinaigrette, and marinades. 

The observed therapeutic characteristics of vinegar include prevention of microbes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity and diabetes (3).

Benefits of using sherry vinegar: 

  • It helps to increase good cholesterol.
  • It supports liver function. 
  • Weight loss 

White wine vinegar:

White wine vinegar is like red wine vinegar. The ratio of 1:1 is used to swap. Its flavour is slightly less intense. It works for brining, cucumber salad vinaigrette, or braising chicken. But the important thing to remember white wine is not the same as distilled white vinegar.   

It contains high acidity and is made with grain alcohol. 

Different studies of vinegar have revealed numerous effects such as improvement of glycogen satiety, hypertension reduction, enhanced consumption of calcium and reduction of cholesterol. Numerous recent studies have shown that vinegar consumption reduces the glucose reaction to carbohydrate food both in diabetic and non-diabetic participants (3).

Benefits of using white wine vinegar:

  • It helps in supporting anti-ageing, due to its antioxidant properties. 
  • It helps in weight loss.
  • It helps in enhancing Calcium Absorption. 
  • It improves digestion problems.
  • It may enhance cognitive function in humans
  • It helps in fighting metabolic syndrome

Rice vinegar:

Rice vinegar can also be used as a substitute for red wine vinegar. It gives a sweet and tangy flavour to the dishes. It is used for making sushi rice, pickled vegetables, marinades, and specific cocktails. 

Benefits of rice vinegar (3,4,5):

  • It helps in improving digestive health.
  • It helps in beating fatigue.
  • It helps in improving heart health
  • It helps in making skin radiant
  • It is helpful for skin, as it helps in preventing dermatitis.

Apple cider vinegar:

It is a substitute that can be easily available at stores. It gives a sweet and fruity flavour to the recipes. It contains antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidants.

Benefits of apple cider vinegar (3,4,5):

  • It helps in killing harmful bacteria
  • It helps in lowering blood sugar levels.
  • It helps in losing weight
  • It gives many benefits to the skin, preventing dermatitis.
  • It boosts skin health.
  • It helps in improving heart health

Tamarind paste:

Tamarind paste is made from tamarind fruit. It gives the same flavour as that of red wine vinegar. It is used in many Indian and Asian dishes. 

Benefits of tamarind paste (6):

  • It is a rich source of antioxidants
  • It contains many anti-cancer properties.
  • It has many anti-diabetic effects.
  • It helps in protecting liver
  • It helps in improving cholesterol. 

Raspberry vinegar:

Raspberry vinegar can be used as a substitute for red wine vinegar. It has the same colour as red wine vinegar. It can be used in a ratio of 1:1. It can be used to make salad dressings, and meat and mushroom marinades. 

Benefits of raspberry vinegar (3,4,5,7):

  • It helps in losing weight.
  • It helps in fighting cancer
  • It helps in getting rid of acne.
  • It helps in fighting digestion.
  • It is beneficial for yeast infection.

Other FAQs about Vinegar that you may be interested in.

Can you leave apple cider vinegar on your face overnight?

How to counteract too much vinegar in the potato salad?

Can you be allergic to vinegar?


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can I substitute for red wine vinegar?” and discussed the possible substitutes for red wine vinegar. 


  1. Cruz, Miguel, et al. Phenolic composition and total antioxidant capacity analysis of red wine vinegars commercialized in Portuguese market. Ciên Técn Vitivin, 2018, 33, 102-115.
  2. Pinu, Farhana R., et al. Vinegar Metabolomics: An Explorative Study of Commercial Balsamic Vinegars Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Metab, 2016, 6.
  3. Ali, Zeshan, et al. Potential uses of vinegar as a medicine and related in vivo mechanisms. Int J Vit Nutr Res, 2016, 86, 127-151.
  4. Noh, Young-Hee, et al. In Vitro Inhibitory Effects of Organic Acids Identified in Commercial Vinegars on α-Amylase and α-Glucosidase. Prev Nutr Food Sci, 2020, 25, 319.
  5. Luu, Lydia A., et al. Apple cider vinegar soaks do not alter the skin bacterial microbiome in atopic dermatitis. Plos one, 2021, 16, e0252272.  
  6. Arshad, Muhammad Sajid, et al. Tamarind: A diet‐based strategy against lifestyle maladies. Food sci nutr, 2019, 7, 3378-3390.
  7. Budak, Nilgün H., et al. Functional properties of vinegar. J food sci, 2014, 79, R757-R764.