What is Red Wine Vinegar?
A fermented product of red wine, the vinegar is made from the fabulous and delicious red wine. Now, its taste and quality depends on the ingredients that were used to make the vinegar in the first place. If you choose the best wine, then of course, the vinegar will have exceptional taste. Including that, it also needs to be aged for a particular time in wooden barrels for it to have that tangy, bitter, and sour taste.
How the Vinegar Is Made
Before we go any further, let us understand the simple process of how the wine and few other ingredients make their journey to becoming the vinegar we love. First, the wine is fermented till it turns sour. This, in turn, produces acetic acid. There are other acids that can be produced in the fermentation process. And depending on the time frame the vinegar is being fermented, this acidic level can vary. After the fermentation process is over, all that's left to do is strain the liquid, and pour it inside a jar to be used. Or, you can let the vinegar age to get a rich flavor.
Now, this may seem like a lot of work, but trust me, after the ingredients are mixed, all the work is done on its own. Many people, to avoid all this work, opt to purchase their vinegar from a store, or use a substitute for the vinegar.
Homemade Red Wine Vinegar Recipe
Gather the ingredients―2 cups red wine (the best one depending on your budget), 1 cup mother of vinegar, 1 cup distilled water, and 1 tablespoon 80-proof Vodka. Make sure that the utensils you use to make the vinegar in are sanitized properly.
In a bowl, first mix wine and water together. Add mother of vinegar to this, and combine thoroughly. Place a cheesecloth on top of the bowl and secure it with a rubber band. Leave the bowl alone in a cool, dark place for 6 to 8 weeks.
Make sure that the temperature in the storage area is about 80ºF to 85ºF. Once this time has passed, bring the bowl out, remove the cheesecloth, and pour the liquid into another sanitized bowl.
Now we need to pasteurize it at 155ºF for at least half an hour. You can also choose to add campden tablets (3 tablets for 1 gallon of vinegar). For the pasteurizing process, you need to mix in 1 tablespoon 80-proof Vodka for every gallon of vinegar.
To age the vinegar, keep it in the same dark place for another 6 months. Now, the temperature needs to be about 50ºF to 60ºF. Once the vinegar is ready, you can either age it further on, or use it by pouring in a sanitized glass bottle.
Follow the recipe to prepare the vinegar at home for salad dressing, as a vinaigrette, to marinade meats, or to drizzle over vanilla ice cream (make a reduction sauce, very delicious). On the other hand, there are some people who, due to the fact they don't like the taste of this vinegar, tend to search for its substitute. Whether you'll like this vinegar or not, the answer can only be found once you've tried it, right?