When you prepare your risotto recipe it is always best to use dry white wine. You should use a good bottle of wine that you will not have a problem drinking. It is never a good idea to go for cheap varieties because they will end up ruining the taste of your meal. Some of the dry white wines that are perfect for cooking include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc. If you cannot access some good white wine for your risotto, there are other alternatives that you can consider.
Grape Juice and Vinegar
Grape juice and vinegar make a great substitute for white wine. It is best to use white grape juice diluted with some white wine vinegar as a substitute for white wine for your risotto. To use grape juice and vinegar in place of white wine mix three parts of white grape juice with one part white wine vinegar. Make sure you stick to this ratio, because putting too much white wine vinegar in your dish may make it sour. Since wine and grape juice have almost the same flavours and colours, you can replace wine with grape juice in your recipes at a 1 to 1 ratio. White grape juice must be used in place of white wine, and red grape juice in place of red wine. Adding vinegar will reduce the sweetness and also increase the acidity of your recipe and enhance its tartness. Grape juice together with vinegar can be a great marinade for meat as well as vegetables.
White Wine Vinegar/Lime Juice
Another good substitute for white wine is vinegar and lime juice. In many recipes, white wine can be used for a tangy and tart flavour. In these cases, you may want to use white wine vinegar or lime juice as a replacement for white wine. Simply dilute the substitute with equal amounts of water, before you use it. If your recipe requires you to use two tablespoons of white wine, mix a tablespoon of lime juice or white wine vinegar with a tablespoon of water and use that in place of white wine. You can also use diluted apple cider vinegar as a substitute for white wine.
Lemon juice, although it has a sour flavour, is a key ingredient for a lot of different recipes. As such, adding lemon juice in place of white wine to your risotto can work for your recipe. Either way, lemon juice is an excellent way to enhance flavours, especially if you want to get a tangy taste. Also, because it is acidic it can be added to marinades to help tenderize your meat. Lemon juice and white wine have similar functions so they can be easily substituted for each other. Keep in mind that lemon juice is quite tart and it should not replace white wine equally otherwise it will overpower the taste of your food. To avoid overpowering your meal with lemon juice dilute it with water before adding it to your recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of white wine, you can replace it with half a cup of lemon juice mixed with half a cup of water. Some of the advantages of lemon juice are that it is rich in nutrients. Half a cup of lemon juice can give you about 94% of your daily needs for vitamin C, in addition to some potassium, vitamin B, vitamin E as well as magnesium.
Apple juice is a sweet beverage that can make an excellent addition to a variety of recipes plus it can be a great substitute for white wine. The sweetness and light colour of apple juice make it a great substitute for white wine in cooking all sorts of meals including risotto. You can easily replace white wine with apple juice in your recipes at a 1 to 1 ratio. Take note that apple juice works best as a wine replacement when your recipe calls for only a small amount of wine. Otherwise, you will not achieve the same flavour that you are aiming for if your recipe requires a lot of white wine and you use apple juice as a substitute. Similarly, to all other types of juice, you can add some vinegar to your apple juice in order to add extra acidity and flavour to your recipe. Apple juice can make an excellent addition to your sauces that are used to marinate lighter dishes.
Ginger ale, a carbonated soft drink flavoured with ginger can also be a good substitute for white wine. This carbonated drink contains a few other ingredients, such as lemon, lime, and cane sugar. Ginger ale has a similar appearance with white wine and can be used as an alternative for wine in preparing risotto. You can use a 1 to 1 ratio for ginger ale in place of white wine. The acidity of ginger ale also makes it a great meat tenderizer, meaning that it can break down the proteins in meat, and make it softer and easier to chew. Keep in mind that ginger ale and white wine taste different. Although they have similar dry and sweet tastes, ginger ale must only be used in recipes that work well with a slight ginger flavour.
Chicken or Beef Broth/Vegetable Stock
Another great substitute for white wine for risotto is chicken or beef broth or some vegetable stock. You can use broth in place of white wine in almost any recipe. However, using chicken or beef broth to substitute for white wine depends on the kind of recipe you are cooking as well as your method of cooking. If you are making a soup, like a hot and sour shrimp soup or a French onion soup, you can use broth as a white wine substitute. If you happen to be a vegetarian, you can replace white wine with vegetable stock. Take note that you must not use grape juice or ginger ale in your recipes, because they will make your soup taste really sweet.