Red Wine Vinegar Substitute

If you have cider vinegar and red wine, you can make a red wine vinegar substitute with ease.

This past weekend I was preparing to make my Guinness Braised Beef recipe for a dinner in with friends, and when I was half way done prepping, I realized that I didn’t have any red wine vinegar in my pantry.  Ugh.  I will often substitute red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar, as I find the flavours quite similar, but I didn’t have that either (clearly I need to grocery shop).  I didn’t have time at that moment to run to the store to buy more, so I needed a quick fix.  After some quick research I discovered that you can in fact make your own red wine vinegar substitute right at home. And now this is my go-to…it’s the best substitute in a pinch…it works beautifully!

Red Wine Vinegar Substitute {A Pretty Life}

An Easy and Quick Substitute!

Yes.  If you have cider vinegar and red wine, you can make a red wine vinegar substitute with ease.  And after a lot of reading, I also discovered that if it’s just flavour and taste that you need, you can substitute the red wine vinegar with only red wine.  But if you require the acidity of the vinegar as an emulsifier, like in salad dressings, this cider vinegar/red wine substitution works great!

Recipe Tips:

  • Types of Vinegar: you can use cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar (do NOT use white vinegar.
  • Red Wine: any red wine will work: cabernet sauvignon is a great option
  • How to use this red wine vinegar substitute: You can use it where any recipe calls for red wine vinegar: marinades (this steak marinade is delicious!), sauces, soup, stews, vinaigrettes for salads and vegetables, and more delicious dishes.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled or more.
  • A common question asked is “Can I use balsamic vinegar instead or red wine vinegar?” The answer is sometimes. Really the big difference between the two is that balsamic vinegar is sweeter and a little less zingy. So if you don’t mind a little sweetness, then feel free to use it. And what about sherry vinegar? Again, sherry vinegar is more sweet than red wine vinegar and a little less flavourful.


Red Wine Vinegar Substitute

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5 from 2 reviews

This recipe makes a nice substitute for red wine vinegar. 3:1 Vinegar:Red Wine Ratio

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 4 tablespoons 1x
  • Category: Substitute


  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine


  1. Mix the cider vinegar and red wine together, and proceed with your recipe.

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Red Wine Vinegar Substitute

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  1. Thank you. I am in a rental condo on the Gulf and leaving here in two weeks and I really don’t need another pantry item to fnd a home for!

    1. I used Red cooking wine and it worked for me!!! I was in a pinch and thank goodness found this!!! Thank you!!

  2. The questions I was interested I did not get answered
    Whst if you dont drink, i have no wine on my house except white wine vinegar, now whst

      1. I used a smaller amount of white vinegar and adjusted to taste . It worked fine to give the acidic balance and red wine flavor. Would not have been brave enough to try without reading these tips, thanks.