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.

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