Red Wine Vinegar


2 cups red wine to begin, plus 7 1/2 cups more over the next few weeks
2 gallons earthenware crock or glass jar (ideally with a spigot)
A small square of cheesecloth


Add 2 cups of good red wine and 1 cup of filtered water to the crock, then add the mother.
Cover the crock with a double layer of cheesecloth and fasten with a rubber band.
Set the crock in a warm (70° to 90°), dark spot and let stand for 1 1/2 weeks.
Add red wine to the crock in three 2 1/2-cup batches over the next 1 1/2 weeks; the crock should then be two-thirds full.
Once a thin veil has formed on the surface, add the wine through the tube of the bulb baster tucked under the edge of the veil.
Let the crock stand for a total of 10 weeks. Check periodically: If your vinegar ever begins to smell like furniture polish, discard it, wash the crock and start over.
Bottle the vinegar when it smells sharp and crisp: Strain it into sterile bottles through a plastic funnel lines with a paper coffee filter. (If you plan to start the process over, leave 2 cups vinegar in the crock and just add wine and water.)
The vinegar will mellow in the bottle and improve with age, but if you plan to keep it more than 4 months, pasteurize it: Heat the vinegar to 155° in a stainless steel saucepan and hold it there for 30 minutes. Store the vinegar in sterilized, well-sealed bottles in a cool, dry place. Use homemade vingear for dressings and sauces and as a seasoning; never use it for pickling.


Adapted from a recipe by Paula Wolfert.


4.0 servings


Friday, June 17, 2011 - 5:52am


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