6 Red Wine Substitutes

There are plenty of delicious dishes you might want to make that call for red wine.

However, you might have run out of red wine at home, or you might prefer not to cook with alcohol.

No matter what the case is, it is possible to make a recipe that asks for red wine by replacing the wine with another ingredient.

Luckily, there are many red wine substitutes, and the six we have in this article are the best.

6 Red Wine Substitutes

Numerous Mediterranean-style meals, as well as French and Italian dishes, need red wine for the cooking process. But what effect does wine have?

Cooking with wine enhances the flavor profiles of a meal because the acid content of the wine brings brightness and richness to the food preparation.

Red wine is frequently used to caramelize a pan or to give some depth to sauces.

So, even if you have a bottle of red wine but wish to keep it for another time, the red wine substitutes below can help you cook some red wine dishes that will taste just as good as the original.

6 Best Red Wine Substitutes

1. Water

Yes, water can easily replace red wine in all recipes. As you can imagine, it will not yield the same results as it lacks all the flavors and aromas of red wine.

Nevertheless, water has no calories or alcohol, so if you want to keep that meal of yours lower in calories and eat a bigger portion, this is a great way to do so!

2. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar has the acid content and vinegary taste of dry red wine but lacks the alcohol content, making it a perfect alternative for those wishing to skip the alcohol in their meals.

It bears a close resemblance to wine in terms of color, but it is less vivid. Distill it with water in a 50/50 ratio.

So, for each half cup of wine, use a quarter cup of red wine vinegar and a quarter cup of water.

3. Dry White Wine

Looking for the perfect red wine substitute in the kitchen? Try that bottle of dry white wine (see also ‘The 5 Best Alternatives For White Wine In Cooking‘) you have left in the fridge!

You might even have a bottle of cheap white wine that you would not have a problem using to cook that casserole.

Either way, the taste will be practically identical. Although that won’t give your dark sauce a rosy hue, the flavor will be top-notch.

As a side note, we should say that we do not advise you to do the opposite in case a recipe calls for white wine and you do not have any left.

This is mostly because of the color you would get, as it would turn your risotto into a pinkish one!

4. Broths

In a pinch, you can replace dry red wine with any kind of broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef and cook that dinner meal to perfection.

Even though the final result will lack the sourness or richness of the red wine, the broth will enhance the meal’s saltiness.

5. 100% Pomegranate/Cranberry Juice

If you are looking to substitute that glass of red wine in the recipe you are making, go for a glass of Pomegranate or cranberry juice.

Make sure to only add natural pomegranate or cranberry juice with no added sugars and sweeteners, as the high sugar content of the sweetened versions will change the taste and even the texture of the dish.

These juices, when natural, on the other hand, are acidic and red: they are both a little sweeter than the red dry wine, but they’ll do the work when used in the right quantity.

6. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice’s acidic, zesty flavor makes it an excellent substitute for red wine in food preparation. As a result, it works well in condiments and gravies.

When substituting lemon juice for red wine, use half a cup lemon juice and half a cup water for one cup of red wine.

This way you can water down the lemon juice, making it less sour.

The Bottom Line

These 6 red wine substitutes work great and can come to your rescue when you want to try a recipe that calls for red wine, but you do not have any left. So, try them out and bon appetit!

6 Red Wine Substitutes

6 Red Wine Substitutes

Recipe by Jenna

Don’t have any red wine left at home but the recipe is asking for some? With these 6 red wine substitutes, you do not have to worry about it!

Course: Beverages
5 from 1 vote


  • Water

  • Red Wine Vinegar

  • Dry White Wine

  • Broths

  • 100% Pomegranate/Cranberry Juice

  • Lemon Juice


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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