8 Best White Wines for Cooking (2024)
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8 Best White Wines for Cooking That Will Liven Up Your Favorite Dishes

8 Best White Wines for Cooking That Will Liven Up Your Favorite Dishes

Are you searching for new ways to elevate the flavors of your favorite recipes? Then, this list is for you.

Finding the perfect white wine to use in your cooking can sometimes be tricky. By making the wrong choice you might end up with flavors that are too intense or a dish that's overly salty.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best white wines for cooking to guide you in selecting bottles that will transform your everyday dishes into extraordinary meals.

Let’s get started!

Tips for Selecting White Wine for Cooking

White wines can be an essential ingredient in your cooking—complementing dishes, enhancing overall flavors, and adding a special touch to your recipes.

But how do you pick the perfect bottle?

Here are our tips:

  • First and foremost, use dry white wines. You mostly want your wine to add acidity to your dish rather than sweetness. Super sweet or fuller-bodied wines like Moscato and oaked Chardonnays can quickly caramelize or give too much flavor to your dish. Save sweet wines for desserts.
  • High alcohol wines take longer to reduce and lack the necessary acidity. Instead, choose wines with a moderate alcohol content, ideally between 10 and 13 percent.
  • Select an affordable bottle. Cooking with white wine should be both fun and cost-effective. So, you don’t have to spend too much on any wine. Our favorite picks here will surely fit the bill.
  • Stay away from “cooking wine.” These wines don’t taste good, containing cheap ingredients and excessive salt. As a golden rule, select wines you'd drink with dinner!
  • You can cook with a previously opened bottle, if it's been properly stored in the refrigerator. Most white wines are good to cook with for up to two weeks after opening.
  • Keep experimenting. While so many guides can help pair white wines with dishes, your taste is the key here. Trying new recipes and techniques will master your culinary skills.

Bottom line?

Using dry white wine for cooking isn't about grabbing any random bottle. Consider our tips here to find the perfect pair for your meal.

Without further ado, let’s get into which white wines work best with your food.

Best White Wines to Cook With

  1. Dry Riesling
  2. Dry Sherry
  3. Vinho Verde
  4. Marsala
  5. Pinot Grigio
  6. Dry Vermouth
  7. Sauvignon Blanc
  8. Muscadet

1 - Dry Riesling

Dry Riesling is a CLASSIC cooking wine. With elevated acidity and a higher sugar content, this German white wine is a versatile option for pairing with different recipes.

The acidity offers a lively contrast, making it perfect for cooking with creamy chicken dishes or flaky fish dishes.

Best White Wines for Cooking

On the other hand, the higher sugar level help keeps white meat moist yet soft. It means that, like most good white wines, Dry Riesling doesn’t overwhelm the taste of your meal.

This wine has a delicate aroma of citrus fruits, apples, and flowers with tropical hints, making it an excellent ingredient in a glaze or dessert. 

But that’s not all.

Dry Riesling also complements red meats, pork, and spicy dishes and can be ideal for poached fruit.

In conclusion, with its ability to add acidity, this dry white wine is an excellent companion for passionate home cooks.

2 - Dry Sherry

As you’ve learned, dry white wines are excellent for cooking, and Dry Sherry is no exception.

Although it’s not among the most popular white wine brands, Dry Sherry has become noticeable in recent years. So, why is it a game-changer in the kitchen?

Because adding just a small splash of Dry Sherry to a nearly finished dish can give a layered flavor and a touch of acidity. Plus, this versatile wine is ideal for deglazing and can bring depth to cream sauces.

Not only does it enhance your favorite recipes, but it is also a fantastic drink to start with if you're serving appetizers.

You can cook with it:

  • Soup 
  • Roasted chicken
  • Seafood dishes
  • Cream sauces


Be aware — While some sherries tend to be very sweet and pair well with desserts, others are much drier.

3 - Vinho Verde

If you're looking to add an exciting new tool to your cooking repertoire, you should try Vinho Verde.

This crisp and light Portuguese wine has everything you need to liven up your dishes. How?

8 Best White Wines for Cooking - Vinho Verde Well, its citrus notes add a zing, boosting the flavors of neutral white meats. These effervescent bottles also have a fruity, mineral character that makes them perfect for seafood dishes.
On top of that, you’ll surely appreciate Vinho Verde’s versatile profile, allowing you to try new recipes and flavors.

4 - Marsala

Marsala is another go-to white cooking wine that many home chefs and restaurants rely on for delicious food.

For example, Chicken marsala, a fabulous Italian dish, is made with this type of white wine. Moreover, you can use it in recipes for cooking risotto and cream-based dishes.

One standout point of this wine is its ability to add acidity, depth, and richness to sauces and braises.

In our experience, it has a strong flavor, though: So, it’s better to use it sparingly.

Additionally, once opened and stored in the refrigerator, Marsala can last for up to three months. Don’t forget to check the label for the word “secco,” which means “dry.”

Bottom line?

Marsala should be on your radar if you want to revive your savory dishes.

Speaking of go-to dry white wines for cooking

5 - Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is one the most popular wines in cooking that has become a must-have for home chefs.

What sets it apart?

This fantastic wine is a versatile companion for cooking plenty of dishes and it's very easy to find in many wine shops.

Another major pro of this dry white wine is its ability to lend strong acidity and fruity hints to dishes. The wine’s crisp and neutral flavor adds vibrancy, harmonizing beautifully with a wide range of foods.

Best White Wines for Cooking

These bright Italian wines pair perfectly with salty Italian cheese in most risotto recipes. 

Furthermore, they enhance the appeal of vegetable-focused meals, such as vegan cauliflower scampi in a lemony garlic white wine sauce.

In short, this wine is an ideal match for:

  • Risotto
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Smoked salmon pasta
  • Pesto Chicken
  • Vegan cauliflower scampi
  • Light pasta dishes
  • Various types of cheese 

Not bad at all.

6 - Dry Vermouth

If you want to strengthen your dish with an aromatic fortified wine, Dry Vermouth is a must-try.

What we appreciate most about this wine are its aromatic, complex, and slightly bitter notes. 

This makes it an incredibly appealing option to take savory dishes like risotto or pasta dishes to another level. Once opened, you can store Dry Vermouth in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Well, no matter which cooking method you prefer, having this one in the kitchen is always a great idea.

This brings us to another versatile wine perfect for cooking…

7 - Sauvignon Blanc

As we mentioned above, finding a nice white wine for cooking can be a challenge. But, you just can’t go wrong with Sauvignon Blanc.

What really sets this popular and widely available cooking white wine is its incredible versatility in incorporating into many recipes. 

Best Cooking White Wines - Sauvignon Blanc

Featuring refreshing flavors and balancing acidity, Sauvignon Blanc works exceptionally well with many heavy cream sauces.

Moreover, you can use this wine as a substitute for lemon or vinegar to add depth and zest to a dish.

Its bright, herbaceous, and dry taste profile makes it an ideal wine for cooking:

  • Italian risotto
  • Mussels or clams
  • Steamed mussels with garlic toasts
  • Chicken piccata
  • Chicken and mushroom pasta in a garlic white wine sauce
  • Seafood sauces

Bottom line?

As one of the best white wines for cooking, Sauvignon Blanc is a safe choice that will surely please.

Grab a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and get ready for a delightful meal. 

8 - Muscadet

Muscadet is another excellent dry white wine that can play a crucial role in your dishes.

While it may be relatively more expensive than some common wines on this list, Muscadet still earns its place among the best white wines for cooking.

The question is:

What is the number 1 reason people love this wine?

This light-bodied French wine does a GREAT job at complementing the brininess of many seafoods, extending beyond just oysters.

Additionally, Muscadet offers flavors of sea snail, lemon, lime, and green apple, making it a delightful ingredient in your cooking.

So, if you want to create an exceptional dish like drunken mussels, Muscadet is a good choice.

Enjoy Cooking With White Wine

To wrap things up, dry white wines offer an excellent opportunity to enhance the flavors of your favorite recipes.

From Sauvignon Blanc to Riesling, the best cooking white wines bring exciting tastes to your table.

We’ve shared our top picks to help you find your perfect match to cook delicious meals with these wine wonders.

So, if you're on the lookout for a good white wine for cooking, it's time to give these a try and get going!


What are the best white wines to cook with?
Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio are among the best white wines for cooking.
Why do you add white wine to cooking?
Dry white wines add to your dish acidity, enhancing the flavors and balancing the overall taste.
What is the best white wine to cook pasta with?
Dry Vermouth and Sauvignon Blanc stand out as great dry white wines for cooking pasta.
What white wine is good for cooking turkey?
Dry white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, work very well for cooking turkey.
Does the quality of white wine matter for cooking?
Yes, some low-quality wines don’t taste good and contain cheap ingredients and excessive salt. It’s best to choose a wine that you would enjoy drinking with dinner.
Is Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc better for cooking?
Both Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are popular white cooking wines. Thanks to their versatile profiles, they perfectly complement a wide range of dishes.
What flavor does white wine add to sauces?
White wines do an excellent job of adding tangy, crisp, and tart flavors to your dishes.
Which white wine is best for cooking shrimp scampi?
We recommend a dry, crispy wine like a Pinot Grigio for cooking shrimp scampi.
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