The Best Simple Sherry Vinegar Substitutes


A few people emailed me to ask about the sherry vinegar I used in yesterdays salad.

Real sherry vinegar comes from Spain and tends to be a little tricky to find.

The thing is, it’s my favourite wine vinegar.

Fitting somewhere between red and white wine vinegar, it adds a softer, more rounded flavour than regular wine vinegars.

Plus it doesn’t have the sweetness of balsamic.

We’re talking my dessert island vinegar.

Most fancy ‘delis’ or providores that stock expensive olive oils and balsamic should also have a good sherry vinegar. It’s worth the effort to track some down.

If you can’t find it, here are my favourite substitutes.

Best Substitutes for Sherry Vinegar

(in order of preference)

1. Rice Wine Vinegar

Also called ‘rice vinegar’ this is the closest in flavour profile and acidity strength to sherry vinegar. It’s available in the Asian foods section of my local supermarket.

2. Champagne Vinegar

The next closest is champagne vinegar which tends to be slightly sweeter and less harsh than your usual wine vinegar.

3. White Wine Vinegar

Another good substitute. I find most brands to have a harsher or stronger acidity so I would use slightly less if substituting.

4. Red Wine Vinegar

Unless its home made, red wine vinegar is usually has the strongest and harshest flavour. If using it as a substitute for sherry vinegar, again start by using less and add more as needed.

5. Lemon / Lime Juice

Citrus juices rely on citric acid whereas all the wine vinegars mentioned above are acetic acid based. This means citrus juice has a completely different flavour profile.

But if you don’t have any vinegar in the house, a squeeze of lemon or lime will provide freshness and bring the other flavours of your dish to life in a similar way to vinegar. You may even enjoy the flavour differences!

More Tips for Cooking with Vinegar

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x