As you might expect, red wine vinegar is made from red wine, and white wine vinegar from white wine. To make wine vinegar, you essentially ferment the wine so long that you make the wine go sour, so that it further oxidizes to the acidic requirement to create vinegar.
Once you have some good red wine vinegar, you’ll find that there are many uses for it.
• Salad dressing – Red wine vinegar makes an excellent salad dressing. Simply shake it together with some good olive oil and perhaps some salt and pepper.
• Meat marinade – Red wine vinegar is great for tenderizing a tough piece of meat, such as a flank steak. Just don’t let the meat marinate for too long or it will become mushy. Try adding a little olive oil to it, as well.
• Red wine vinegar reduction – Cook the red wine vinegar on medium heat until it has reduced by half. It will sweeten considerably, yet still retain a bit of a tang.
• Pickling – Red wine vinegar, like other vinegars, are great for pickling all sorts of vegetables. Using red wine vinegar rather than traditional white vinegar will give the vegetables a bit of the red wine flavor. It creates a slightly more complex pickled flavor.
• Sauces – Many sauces call for a bit of vinegar. Even classic marinara sauce can be made with red wine vinegar instead of red wine when you want a little more acidity to the sauce. Just like adding the red wine, however, the sauce should be allowed to reduce to allow the vinegar to reduce, lessening its acidity and boosting its sweetness.
A good bottle of red wine vinegar should be a staple in every kitchen. Red wine vinegars, like red wines, come in a wide variety of qualities and price points. It is not necessary that you buy the most expensive red wine vinegar, but you should ensure that you like the one you buy. To taste red wine vinegar, dip a piece of bread into it. The bread will absorb some of the vinegar’s acidity, and allow you to focus on the flavor rather than being so overwhelmed by the acid flavor.