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I made my first Beurre Blanc a couple days ago. It got very sour and I had to pour some sugar to sweeten it. I'm almost sure I reduced the wine and the vinegar enough before I started throwing in the butter.

I know I probably made this 2 mistakes:

  1. I didn't measure the exact amount of wine and vinegar. I just put one glass of wine and a little stream of vinegar.
  2. I used distilled white vinegar, not white wine vinegar.

Are these 2 mistakes what made my sauce sour or there's something else I'm doing wrong here? I really wanna master the Beurre Blanc because I love cooking fish but I've never made a sauce for it.

Thank you guys in advance.

  • What were your other ingredients? Also, distilled vinegar is quite different from white wine vinegar. – moscafj Apr 17 at 13:27
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    @moscafj finely diced shallots, pepper and salt. Oh... and I just remembered that I used salted butter (it's a little hard to find unsalted butter where I live). And I know those are different vinegars, that is why I believe using distilled vinegar helped in making my sauce that sour! :( – franpen Apr 17 at 13:29
  • As @moscafj indicated "distilled vinegar" is white vinegar not white wine vinegar – MaxW Apr 17 at 17:16
  • @MaxW I know. That was one of the two mistakes I acknowledged. I just didn’t have white wine vinegar so I thought it could still work with white vinegar. It clearly didn’t. – franpen Apr 17 at 17:42
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Julia Child's "classic" recipe for beurre blanc uses quite a lot of butter (3 sticks) to 1/4 cup each of white wine and white wine vinegar (plus shallot and salt and pepper, with a squeeze of lemon to finish). I suspect that you (a) used too much liquid, and (b) used the wrong vinegar, leading to an overly sour/acetic sauce.

  • Thank you for your answer. I will mark it as correct because it makes a lot of sense to me. One question though: is it ok to use salted butter or it’s imperative to go with the unsalted? – franpen Apr 17 at 13:38
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    Hi franpen and welcome! I suppose a purist may say to use unsalted butter and add the required amount of salt. However, I use salted butter and my sauces come out fine. – Cindy Apr 17 at 14:05
  • @Cindy thank you so much for your response and thank you for welcoming me!! I’ll try it at home – franpen Apr 17 at 16:52
  • Salted butter, depending on the butter, may give you a sauce with a fast-food level of salt. But that won't influence the sour taste at all – user57361 Apr 17 at 22:40

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