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The 5 Best Substitutes for Dry Sherry

Have you been looking for the perfect addition to your meal but don’t know where to start?

Dry sherry is a great option as it adds a unique flavor and aroma to dishes like stews, soups, and sauces.

If you’re not sure how to incorporate it into your food, there are plenty of ways to put it to good use.

You can try mixing it with vegetables before roasting them or using it in marinades for meats or poultry.

Additionally, there are many alternatives if you’d prefer not to use the sherry – from dry Vermouth to white wine vinegar – so you can find the one that works best for your recipe.

With its sharp yet subtle taste, dry sherry is sure to be a hit at any gathering – so why not give it a try?

What is Dry Sherry?

Dry Sherry, sometimes referred to as fino sherry or manzanilla sherry, is an interesting Spanish fortified wine.

It’s made from white grapes grown in the Spanish region of Jerez and begins as a regular, unfortified wine.

As the fermentation process takes place, distilled alcohol is added to the mix, which gives it an extra kick, raising its alcoholic content to around 15%.

This also gives dry sherry its distinct, dry flavor.

It has a light body that can be slightly bitter yet still quite sweet.

This unique combination makes it a popular choice for pairing with food such as olives and spicy dishes like paella.

Dry sherry can also be found in many classic cocktails like the Martinez and White Lady.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dry Sherry

If you are looking for an alternative to dry sherry, there are plenty of different options available.

From fortified wines like Marsala and Madeira to fruit-infused syrups and even vermouths, you can find a substitute that works for almost any recipe.

Here are the top five best substitutes for dry sherry:

1 – Dry White Wine

Dry white wine is an incredibly versatile and flavourful drink that can be enjoyed on its own or with a meal.

Ranging from oaky and acidic to sweet and delicate, there is something for everyone – making it a popular choice amongst those who like to explore different wines.

Due to its light flavor, dry white wine has a pleasant taste that is not overpowering the palate but still gives off some subtle notes of citrus and minerals; the texture is typically crisp and often refreshing.

As a substitution for dry sherry, dry white wine can be used in place of any recipes calling for Sherry; this makes it an easy way to create interesting dishes with familiar flavors.

2 – Dry Vermouth

Dry Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified wine that has an alcoholic content of around 15-18%, making it a great alternative to drinking hard liquor.

This light-bodied wine usually has a light earthen color and a taste that ranges from slightly sweet to lightly bitter.

Its texture is crisp and refreshing due to the presence of botanical flavors, herbs, and spices like star anise, orange peel, cardamom, or herbs.

Dry Vermouth can be used as a substitute for dry sherry in many recipes if you’re looking for something with lower alcohol content or don’t have any sherry on hand.

The subtle but distinct flavor will enhance whatever dish you choose to make.

3 – Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is an interesting and complex fortified wine that originates from the Portuguese islands of Madeira.

It has a unique production process, with wine aging in a high temperature and humidity environment, whereas traditional oaked wines are aged in a controlled, cool environment.

The resulting product has an array of tastes, with notes of caramel and burnt sugar due to the long oxidation process.

In terms of texture, this beverage is quite robust: it is quite viscous and has a syrupy yet tannic feel to it.

Madeira works well as a substitute for dry sherry: it can pair nicely with grilled dishes and light game such as sausages, veal, beef, or pork dishes.

For those who prefer to indulge their sweet tooth without sacrificing their nutritional needs, Madeira is also very suitable for fruit desserts.

4 – Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is a unique and versatile flavoring agent.

It is created in the Spanish region of Jerez and uses naturally aged sherry wines as its base.

The sherry is aged in oak barrels for at least six months, resulting in an acidic liquid with a tangy flavor and an aroma that hints of oaky sweetness.

It has a milder taste than regular vinegar but still packs bold flavors due to its maturity process.

To substitute dry sherry, simply use an equal amount of sherry vinegar in any recipe calling for dry sherry.

Sherry vinegar is incredibly useful when seasoning dishes such as seafood, pork dishes, sauces, and dressings.

Its rich flavor makes it perfect as a finishing touch to salads or even desserts such as ice cream sundaes.

With just a few drops of this profound vinegar, some simple ingredients can become transformed into something truly special.

5 – White Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar is an exact substitute for dry sherry in many recipes, yet it has its own unique flavor profile.

Its vinegar-y scent and slightly acidic taste make it perfect for dressing salads and sauces.

When heated, it imparts a subtle smell of crisp fruit without overpowering the other flavors and ingredients.

White wine vinegar is milder than other varieties of vinegar which makes it ideal to use in desserts, braises, and marinades.

This versatile ingredient can be used alongside bold-flavored substances to add complexity while balancing out boldness.

For those who want a more mellow taste than that of sherry, white wine vinegar is the perfect alternative.


In conclusion, Dry Sherry can be substituted with dry white wine, dry Vermouth, Madeira wine, sherry vinegar, and white wine vinegar.

Each of these alternatives has its own unique flavor profile, making them suitable for different ways of cooking and baking.

Furthermore, they all have lower alcoholic content than dry sherry, so if you want to enjoy the flavors without the alcohol content, these are excellent options.

With some creativity and experimentation, you can find the perfect substitute for dry sherry to match your dishes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dry Sherry

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dry Sherry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Dry White Wine
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Madeira Wine
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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