Homemade Wine Vinegar is Tasty Gift

This recipe for red wine vinegar turns ordinary vinegar into a tasty gift.

I always enjoy spending time in the kitchen making goodies to give as homemade holiday gifts, but in previous years I was reluctant to try my hand at making red wine vinegar.

I’d read about the months’ long process that requires an earthenware crock and a live starter called a “mother.” And I’d heard that a good mother is often handed down from a friend or relative like a treasured heirloom.

Vinegar is the result of the chemical reaction between the mother bacteria and the wine.

For those without a mother, the bacteria culture can be found at stores selling wine making supplies.

I didn’t want to wait the 2-3 months of time needed for a slow fermentation process. I had to find a faster way to create vin aigre (sour wine). The quickest option was to add red wine to white vinegar, but that wasn’t my style.

Then I heard about a process that took only weeks instead of months and used unpasteurized cider vinegar in place of the starter bacteria.

I wasn’t sure what wine to use until I read to simply select the same kind of medium or full-bodied wine I like to drink. Merlot, Shiraz or Chianti are good medium-bodied choices; Cabernet a full-bodied selection.

I settled on an inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz blend from California because I like its bright fruit flavors and thought it would make a delicious vinaigrette for a fresh green salad.

How to Make Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

To make this recipe add one part unpasteurized vinegar and two parts red wine to a large glass jar. For my batch of red wine vinegar, I mixed one cup Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with two cups Cabernet-Shiraz red wine.

I covered the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secured it with a rubber band to hold the cloth in place. The jar was left in a warm spot for several weeks and I stirred occasionally during that time.

Then I added enough red wine to the jar, so that it doubled in volume, re-covered with the cheesecloth and let sit for another 3 weeks. This yielded 4 cups of red wine vinegar.

For gift giving, pour the vinegar through a strainer into gift bottles and seal. To make the gift complete, add a bow, and recipe for a garden-fresh vinaigrette.


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Is the recipe 1 part to 1 part? I see you say that you used 1 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of wine. Does it make a difference in the chemical process?

Hi Christine:

Thanks for pointing out a typo in that post (arrrgh!) You’re right, it should be 1 part vinegar to 2 parts wine. Sorry about that! I’ll be sure to make the correction.

I have been using 2 litres of white vinegar and 2 liters of red wine for years, mmmmmmmmmmmm

Thanks for the tip, Roberto. That sounds like a super-simple way to make a red wine vinegar.

Looks a quick and easy process. Just getting a couple of batches going and will let you know how it goes. Thanks.

I just started the process and have used equal amounts. i saw it on check please. leslie said 1 to 1 so that is what I did. I have not mixed it yet…Is that required?

Sorry Betty, I’m not sure I understand your question about mixing. The red wine and vinegar are combined so they can steep together for the required amount of time.

Hi, I have a store brewed batch of red wine that has naturally turned itself to vinegar. Definitely not able to drink as it is. Sounds to me like I could just repackage and give as it is without using your great recipe for friend to use in salad dressing. What do you think?

Well, is this a good friend you want to keep? HaHa.

I’m not sure wine can turn to vinegar on its own, but I’ve never had wine last long enough to see if that can happen! I googled around and found this link that might be helpful: https://www.chowhound.com/post/wine-turn-vinegar-453727

If you search online, there may be other suggestions. I’d recommend starting over using my recipe if you want to give homemade red wine vinegar to your friend.

Thanks for the question,

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