White Vinegar vs White Wine Vinegar

Many people find themselves in a difficult spot when trying to decide on the perfect vinegar. This piece is for you if you have ever experienced such a problem. Even though it can be quite confusing at first but each vinegar has its specific purpose in the kitchen that makes it complement various dishes differently.

People, especially, get mixed up between white wine vinegar and white vinegar and think them to be similar. However, the two kinds of vinegar are not only different in use but also differ in the process of fermentation.

What is the main difference between white wine vinegar and white vinegar?

White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, is made from acetic acid and distilled water. Technically, the acetic acid is diluted by the distilled water to make the white vinegar. White wine vinegar, on the other hand, is made by further fermentation of white wine.

To gain a deeper insight into the topic at hand, let us first examine what vinegar is.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a clear solution made from a fermentation process that begins with fruits that are converted into wine, cider, or any other form of alcohol. The resultant ethanol alcohol is then fermented using a bacteria culture that eats the alcohol.

What this process does is break down the resultant products. When complete, there should be no alcohol left but the level of acidity must be above 5%.

For white vinegar, the process just involves acetic acid and distilled water. This is the reason why white vinegar usually has a strong smell compared to champagne or wine vinegar.

How Do all the Kinds of Vinegar Differ?

Every vinegar has a unique use and taste; what you use white wine vinegar for is quite different from what you use red wine vinegar for.

Therefore, every vinegar is quite distinct which is why we came up with this comprehensive list to show you the various uses of the different types of vinegar. With this guide, you will be able to know which vinegar to use for the dish or type of food you are preparing.

Type of Vinegar and How to use it When Cooking

White Wine Vinegar

  • To Dress your Salad
  • To Marinade
  • For Fish and Chicken
  • For Pickling

Red Wine Vinegar

  • For Dressing your Salad
  • For Pork or Beef
  • For your Vegetables

Champagne Vinegar

  • For Side Sauces
  • For Dressing Your Salad
  • For De-glazing your pan
  • For Bread – you Dip with olive oil

Sherry Vinegar

  • For Vinaigrette
  • To Glaze on Duck or Chicken
  • To Sweeten various soups
  • To De-glaze pans

Rice Vinegar

  • For Most Asian Dishes
  • To Dress Salad

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • For Buttermilk
  • For Pickling
  • For Marinades
  • Has Several Health Benefits

The Differences Between Unpasteurized and Pasteurized Vinegar

Simply put, pasteurized refers to the heated vinegar whose mother (the sticky bacteria that usually grows in the bottom of the bottle or vinegar jar) died. This results in a clear bottle or vinegar jar that is more attractive to customers.

On the other hand, unpasteurized vinegar usually still has the mother on the bottom of the bottle or vinegar jar. This leads to a cloudier vinegar that customers find unappealing.

It is still not established whether more health benefits accompany unpasteurized vinegar than pasteurized since the process of pasteurization kills the much-needed bacteria.

Characteristics of Pasteurized Vinegar

  • Heated to do away with the bacteria/ “mother”
  • Clear solution
  • Clean in taste

Characteristics of Unpasteurized Vinegar

  • Still contains the useful bacteria / “mother”
  • Cloudy solution

Can Apple Cider Vinegar be Used in Place of All Other Vinegar?

In case your dish or recipe dictates that you can use white wine vinegar, and for some reason, you do not have white vinegar around, you can substitute it with a different type of vinegar other than wine.

Related: 7 Super-Easy Balsamic Vinegar Substitute Suggestions

Apple cider is among the best substitutes for vinegar. It is known and loved for its fruity punch that cannot be obtained from other types of vinegar.

What is even better is that you can use the same amount of vinegar as dictated in your recipe. Not more or less. Apple cider vinegar is pretty adaptable. In fact, it is considered the most versatile vinegar there is.

It is made from apple cider that has been fermented so it may not be a good option for anyone that does not like apples – it still maintains the taste of apple in it.

How can I Make My Own Vinegar Substitutions?

Actually, the common belief is that you need different types of vinegar in your pantry for your various recipes. While this is true, you will most certainly often use only one or two types leaving the rest to catch dust.

Many people prefer apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.

With that said, you should always arm yourself with various vinegar substitutes, just in case your vinegar runs out. This makes you end up with what you intended to achieve with your recipe altogether.

The following is a tabulation of the various types of vinegar alongside their most suitable substitutes.

  • 1 tbsp. White vinegar – 1 tbsp. Lime Juice or Lemon
  • 1 tbsp. Sherry vinegar  – 1 tbsp. Red wine
  • 1 tbsp. Rice vinegar –  Sugar ¼ tsp. and 1 ½ tsp. White wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Red wine vinegar – 1 ½ tsp. Red wine and 1 ½ tsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar – 1 tbsp. Lime Juice or Lemon

Are White Cooking Wine and White Wine Vinegar the Same?

White cooking wine is essentially the affordable wine found in various grocery stores. It is an ordinary wine that does not have any special thing to it.

Technically, for cooking wine, you can always use the last bottle of wine that has sat in your fridge for a couple of days or the wine that you did not like and did not have any use for.  Cooking wine can, therefore, be used both for cooking and drinking.

White wine vinegar is a little different though. It comes from wine that has been fermented, oxidized, and treated with bacteria to eat up all its alcohol.

The two are often confused because any wine bottle left open in the cellar usually turns into vinegar in the long haul. At the same time, if you leave your white wine vinegar in your pantry for a long time, it will surely become or be used as wine.

It all usually boils down to the fermentation stage at which the cooking wine is. Your best bet is to always make sure to taste your cooking wine instead of assuming. When used correctly, both cooking wine and white wine vinegar can be used as substitutes because they work the same

Can Cooking Wine be used In Place of Wine Vinegar?

If your recipe dictates that you use wine vinegar, it can be hard to substitute it with cooking wine. This is essential because wine vinegar is usually acidic in nature. Otherwise, wine vinegar can still be used instead of cooking wine to help de-glaze the pan.

Because of religion or the need to do away with alcohol, most people tend to go for non-alcoholic vinegar for their recipes. In this case, wine vinegar will work best.

Can Wine Vinegar Go bad?

Just like everything in the pantry, wine vinegar also has an expiration date. Though it is not advisable, it can still be used later than the best before date. Of course, it will lack the required flavors or they will not be as strong as when you use the vinegar before the expiry date.

With that said, it is important to store the vinegar in a cool dark place and ensure the bottle is sealed tightly. Although after a couple of years, you will notice a breakdown of taste and color.

The best way to store your vinegar longer is through refrigeration. In case you use it daily as a staple, you do not have to keep it in the fridge. You just have to keep it in a dark place with its seal fastened tightly.

Leave a Comment