|White Wine Vinegar||6-7%||Very similar to Champagne vinegar, but sharper and a bit more acidic, without the fruity notes. Water down slightly to reduce the acidity.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||5%||Apple cider vinegar has the advantage of very predictable acidity, and notes of apple. However, sharper and more sour than Champagne vinegar.|
|Rice Wine Vinegar||4-7%||Rice wine vinegar is very similar to Champagne vinegar, but with slightly different fruit notes, and more sweetness.|
|Sherry Vinegar||7-8%||Drier than champagne vinegar, but with similar acidity.|
|Lemon Juice||5-8%||Much fruitier, lemon flavor is immediately evident. Can also be slightly sharper, and more sour.|
|Lime Juice||5-8%||Sweeter than lemon, but much more acidic and sour than champagne vinegar.|
|Red Wine Vinegar||6%||Drier and with more color than champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar might have some savory notes.|
|Rice Vinegar||4-7%||Slightly milder than rice wine vinegar, plain rice vinegar is less fruity than champagne vinegar and works well for a more neutral vinegar.|
|Raspberry Vinegar||5%||Strong fruity flavor and colors, raspberry vinegar is both sweeter and more sour than Champagne vinegar.|
|Balsamic Vinegar||6-7%||Bold, sweet, tangy, and acidic without really being sour, balsamic vinegar has a strong and identifiable taste. Aged balsamic gets sweeter, milder, and more complex. Young balsamic is sharp.|
Why Would You Want To Substitute Champagne Vinegar?
Champagne vinegar is a fantastic and mild vinegar for things like soups, salad dressings, and even adding as a marinade or to your favorite sauces.
However, there can be some challenges in using champagne vinegar. For one thing, good champagne vinegar is a little less common in grocery stores. If you run out at home, it can help to know what other vinegar (or even non-vinegar) options will work in your recipes.
Plus, knowing the flavor profile for different vinegar options can help you find new combinations and flavor profiles that make your recipes unique.
The Best Champagne Vinegar Substitutes And When To Use Them
These substitutes can be used either as a direct substitute or to introduce a slightly different flavor if you don't like champagne vinegar or think something else will work better.
If you have champagne vinegar on hand, but are curious about these alternatives, you can even try combining them to see what kind of effect you get!
That said, we have stuck to vinegar options for the most part with these recommendations. If you’re looking to replace the vinegar for something that brings in some flavor but without the acid, you can experiment with green or herbal teas, or even juice if you don’t mind a little added sweetness.
Here are some of the best champagne vinegar substitutes you can use in your cooking!
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is one of the closest substitutions you can make. It has a similar texture and taste but with a little less sweetness. Most good white wine vinegars do still have some fruity flavor, but it's not going to be as prominent as champagne vinegar.
To get a more similar flavor you can add a little bit of sugar or honey to the vinegar. Mix to fully dissolve and you’re ready to go.
Just don't over-sweeten. It really takes a very small amount of sweetener to mimic the flavor of champagne vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another solid substitution, with a familiar flavor that works in most meals that call for vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is even a favorite for making salad dressings and emulsions, thanks to its strong but pleasant flavors.
However, it’s a bit on the bitter sour side compared to champagne vinegar. Again, a little sweeter can help.
The big risk with using apple cider vinegar instead of champagne vinegar is that it has a stronger flavor. So you may need to water down the apple cider vinegar slightly or use less, to get the same kind of flavor.
Rice Wine Vinegar
Rice wine vinegar is another substitution that should be easy to make since both the flavor and the color of these vinegars are so similar.
However, rice wine vinegar is a little bit sweeter than champagne vinegar, with a very mellow almost floral flavor, instead of a fruity flavor.
That said, this is one substitution you can make almost 1:1 without any concern. Just be aware that it might taste just a little sweeter than it would have champagne vinegar.
Sherry vinegar is another good option that is going to give you a similar color as champagne vinegar. But, you should be aware that this vinegar is a good bit drier than champagne vinegar, and often less complex than champagne vinegar.
If you want to get the flavor a little closer to champagne vinegar, it’s a good idea to add a little sweetness with some sugar or honey. Honey or agave syrup will give you more of the fruity flavors normally in champagne vinegar.
Lemon juice is another good substitute, particularly if you want the fruity flavor and acidity, but aren’t looking for some of the more bitter flavors that can come in vinegar.
Just be prepared that lemon juice can have very variable acidity, so you might have to dilute it slightly if you want to get a similar effect to vinegar. It’s also cloudier, so it’s not a good option if you’re looking for a very clear dressing.
Lime juice is both sweeter and more sour than lemon juice but otherwise has a very similar flavor and color, making it another good option.
Often lime juice is a bit more intense than lemon juice, which can make it a good option any time you’re looking to really increase the flavor of the dish.
Red Wine Vinegar
If you’re looking for an option that gives you a little more of a wine flavor, red wine vinegar is a good choice. However, the taste and color are significantly different. Red wine tends to be a little more savory and has a lot of the tannins still there from the red wine.
Like some of the other options in this list, red wine vinegar is also drier than champagne vinegar and you may want to sweeten it if you want to get a similar flavor.
Rice vinegar is a bit milder than rice wine vinegar, which can make it a good option for dishes where you don’t want the vinegar to be a strong flavor. It’s also a good base flavor to mix with teas or juices and get a good result. Or, you can use it to soak dried fruit and create a vinegar infusion, which will hold more of the fruit flavor than the vinegar.
There are a lot of reasons you might want to choose rice vinegar, but it’s not going to shine in a dish where you want more of that vinegar taste.
When you think about replacements for champagne vinegar, raspberry vinegar is one that most people won’t consider, but it’s actually one of the better replacements.
Sharp, sweet, and with a strong fruit flavor (specifically raspberry, of course), this vinegar is a little stronger than champagne vinegar but shares a lot of its best qualities.
If you’re looking for a strong fruit flavor, the sweetness, and the vinegar acidity in your dish, this is a great way to go.
You may want to water the vinegar down a little, or sweeten it slightly, to cut down on the strong flavors.
However, this isn’t a great replacement if you’re looking for a color match. Raspberry vinegar is usually a strong pink-red and will maintain that color even when it's diluted or cooked.
Balsamic vinegar is another substitution that you might not think of immediately, but its strong flavor, fruity and floral undertones, and sweetness make it a good substitution in a lot of dishes.
Young balsamic vinegar is sharper, which is good for dishes that need a lot of acidity, while aged balsamic gets mellower and sweeter, perfect for dressings and marinades or coatings.
You can also get infused balsamic vinegar, and apricot, peach, raspberry, and strawberry flavors all come out particularly well in the vinegar.
This isn’t going to be a good color substitute. Balsamic vinegar is a dark purplish brown, that borders on black. It’s a strong color and will retain that color in just about any dish you use it in.
It’s also not a mild or minimal taste substitute. If anything, Balsamic vinegar is a better substitute for when you want a stronger flavor, not a milder one.
There are a lot of vinegar options out there, but when it comes to replacing champagne vinegar, it’s critical to make sure you’re getting a good high-quality vinegar. Cheaper vinegar options aren’t going to get you the flavors you need for your cooking.
Think about what quality of champagne vinegar is most important and look for a vinegar that shares that quality. If more than one quality matters, look for a vinegar with all of them, or consider mixing two or more substitutes to get a good match.