There are several options that you can substitute for red wine vinegar in salad dressings. This post goes through different substitutions and which one would be best for the salad dressing that you're trying to make.
When it comes to salad dressings, the best substitute for red wine vinegar is another vinegar (see list below). But if you don't want to use another vinegar, use lemon juice.
These substitutions will change the flavor of the salad dressing slightly, but not drastically. Red wine vinegar is primarily added to dressings to add acidity; and any vinegar or lemon juice would do the same.
7 Substitutes for Red Wine Vinegar in Salad Dressings
Here are the 7 most common substitutes for red wine vinegar in salad dressings.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
- Champagne Vinegar
- Rice Vinegar
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
These should all be used in a 1:1 ratio — meaning that they should be used in the same amount as is called for of the red wine vinegar. If the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, use 1 tablespoon of the substitute.
You could use almost any vinegar as a substitute, this list is the 'top' substitutes because these tend to be most common. Feel free to experiment with other flavored vinegars as they will each add a unique taste to your salad dressing.
How to Pick a Substitute
How do you know which substitute to use? This depends on the other flavors in your recipe. Here's a quick guide:
- Apple Cider Vinegar: works with almost any recipe. Adds slight sweetness.
- Balsamic Vinegar: best with salads that have Mediterranean or fruit-inspired flavors.
- White Vinegar: works with almost any recipe and is the most 'plain' of the vinegars. It won't add much extra flavor, but will add acidity and tanginess.
- White Wine Vinegar: a very similar substitute to red wine vinegar.
- Champagne Vinegar: similar to red or white wine vinegar but tastes 'brighter.'
- Rice Vinegar: fairly neutral in flavor, popular in recipes with Asian-inspired ingredients.
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice: works with almost any recipe, add a hint of acidity as well as bright citrus flavor.
Once you've added your substitute to your dressing, give it a taste test to see if the flavors seem balanced. If you prefer, you can always add a splash or two more of the vinegar.
Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Red Wine Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and balsamic vinegar are 3 easy 'non-alcoholic' substitutes for a recipe that calls for red wine vinegar.
Easy Salad Dressing Ideas
Looking for easy salad dressing recipes? Check out our collection below! These include dressings with all types of vinegar or none at all: