White Wine

See also red wine.

Both white and red wines add flavor and flair to a wide range of recipes. White wines, which bear a stronger acidic note, should be paired with like-colored dishes. Light cream-based sauces and poultry or fish will often call for a quality white wine infusion.


Good white wines will be those that you would also serve at the table. They are preferable to cooking wines.

Cooking wine, on the other hand, uses salt as a preservative, which gives it an extended shelf life. The convenience of storing and purchasing may sometimes outweigh the loss in flavor or effect of other additives.

Buying Tips

As you would shop for any wine, pick one to complement the food you are cooking. Dry, fruity, and woodsy wines will each have a different influence.

Avoid sweet wines when making main-dish sauces. Acid in the wine will become stronger and the sweet taste will disappear.

Storage Tips

Cork unused white wine and refrigerate. Bring it to room temperature before adding to foods. Consume within five days of opening.

Usage Tips

  • White wine will add moisture to foods.
  • Choose a sweet white for dessert recipes.
  • Almost all alcohol dissipates the longer it is cooked; however, a negligible amount will always remain.
  • When adding wine, start slowly. Wait a few minutes before tasting to test the essential flavors.
  • Add wine first to cream-based sauces. Let the alcohol evaporate before adding the dairy or it may curdle.
  • Make a seafood basting sauce with wine and melted margarine.
  • As with all foods that incorporate wine, use nonreactive utensils and cookware.
  • For thicker soups, add ¼ cup wine for every two cups of liquid.
  • Add 2 tablespoons wine to every two cups of creamy sauces.
  • Marinate with 2 tablespoons for every ½ pound of poultry, lamb, or fish.

Substitution Tips

Use white grape juice and add a squirt of lemon for acidity. When using seltzer instead, add a half packet of sugar substitute to increase sweetness.

Try one of our favorite white wine recipes:

Suggested Pairings

Fish, lamb, pork, poultry, shellfish, soups, veal