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Rice wine vinegar vs. White wine vinegar

I come across recipes frequently that call for white wine vinegar. Should I go out and buy a bottle or will my rice wine vinegar (unseasoned) work as a substitute? Currently it’s for mint vinaigrette for lamb chops.

I know the rice vinegar is milder so would I increase the quantity to compensate or kick it up with some lemon? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

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  1. I generally substitute white vinegar for lemon juice and vice versa depending on my mood or own interpretation of what would work slightly better.

    And if your worried about the excess white vinagar going to wasteit is the best grease remover you could find for your kitchen (if you ever have a cloged up dishwasher that won't drain a cup of white vinegar in the warm cycle will clear it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rob133

      OP was referring to white wine vinegar.

      Admittedly, I have maybe 10 different types of vinegar in the house, including white/red wine vineagrs and rice wine vinegar, but I couldn't imagine not having wine vinegar available. It tastes deeper than rice vineagr and provides a nice bright note that rice just can't do, IMO.

      If you think it's too harsh, investigate a better quality brand. Wms Sonoma lets you taste them. Better vinegar is mellower and can be worth the extra $$.

    2. I personally prefer rice winegar to white wine vinegar which is a little harsh. Rice vinegar is a little bit sweet but I use it extensively for dressings. Try experimenting with the mint vinaigrette and add an asian touch, maybe some ginger and orange zest and lime juice or a little bit of thai chilies for a spicy vinaigrette.

      1. White wine vinegar is one of the things I find indispensible in the kitchen. Sometimes rice wine vinegar is a good sub, but sometimes you want the acidity and the flavor of a good quality white wine vinegar, for beurre blanc, for instance. It keeps a very long time. I prefer it for viniagrette.

        1. Red wine vinegar would actually be a better substitute for white wine vinegar in my mind, if color isn't an issue. Rice wine vinegar is much milder. And red wine vinegar has a nice tannic quality that might actually match well with the lamb.

          1. I would suggest that you buy the white vinegar. You can use white vinegar with additions in place of rice vinegar, but not the reverse. White vinegar is very cheap and has a myriad of uses in the home..for dissolving water hardness around the sink, faucetts, toilets or showerhead, its a great cleaner in a spray bottle with water, and add a few drops to many dishes to perk up the dishes without adding a notable flavor. If you don't have room in your cupboard, put it under the sink as a cleaner.

            1. OP asked about white WINE vinegar. White (aka distilled) vinegar is something completely different and though useful for cleaning, it's not used very much in cooking (the only example I can think of is in the water for hard-boiled eggs).

              2 Replies
              1. re: scoobyhed

                Yes, I was looking for a substitute for white wine vinegar or even champagne vinegar. I think I will use your rec for the red wine vinegar for tonight (which I have). I’ll taste along the way and get the right balance.

                1. re: scoobyhed

                  So if a recipe calls for white vinegar (this is for a sweet and sour cucumber salad), do I use distilled or white wine vinegar?

                2. Check the label. Rice vinegar tends to be diluted to a 4% level, other vinegars to 6%, that is, it is a bit weaker. But if it is something you can taste along the way, you can adjust quatity accordingly.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paulj

                    absolutely. White wine vinegar is more like red wine or white vinegar in the acid dept. Rice wine vinegar is very different with low acidity. If face with the choice of rice wine vinegar or white vinegar to sub for white wine, I would go with plain white vinegar.

                  2. Funny, I just came online wanting to make the same mint vinaigrette for lamb chops and I don't have any white wine vinegar. So how did it work out in the end with the red wine vinegar?