It may surprise people, but making red wine vinegar isn't that difficult; however, it will take some time. It has many uses, especially in cooking Mediterranean dishes. It also has numerous health benefits as well. It can be purchased in any food shop, but it can be fun and challenging to make it yourself. If you are interested in doing so, keep reading!
Vinegar is actually a very general term, as there are many different types, all of which have their distinctive tastes and uses. The term ‘Vinegar' is a French word and is translated to mean ‘sour wine', and is usually caused by bacteria entering during the fermentation process.. If you have ever had a go at making your own wine, you'll know that if it is not done properly, vinegar can be the result! However, even though it is actually failed red wine and is unable to be drunk in any amount, red wine vinegar still has its uses and advantages
Red Wine Vinegar Advantages
There are a number of health-related advantages to having this in your diet. Here are a few:
a) High blood pressure, strokes and even heart attacks can be prevented, as it contains flavenoids, which are renown for preventing heart disease.
b) The Resveratrol that is present in red wine is also present in vinegar. This is well-known to have many health benefits, such as increasing longevity.
c) There are many antioxidants in RW vinegar, such as catechins and quercetin which helps to fight cancer.
d) It is low calorie, fat-free and sodium-free, and can help you to maintain a healthy body fat ratio.
There are other numerous health-related benefits as well. Since it is made with red wine, the same benefits from that will also be present in the vinegar.
Making Red Wine Vinegar at Home
The process for making RW vinegar takes a few months, so if you are hoping to have some for tonight's dinner, you're a bit out of luck. The first thing you need to do is to buy a few bottles of your favourite red, assuming it isn't very expensive. Once you've done that, you'll need a container to store them in. A good wooden barrel is the best option. Pour half of your wine into the barrel and let it sit, covered with a cheese cloth (it's important that it isn't airtight!). The spot you choose is important, as it shouldn't be too hot but not too cold either, and it should be well-ventilated.
Once you've chosen the site, you'll need to buy some bacteria, as it will start the fermentation process further, but without producing more alcohol. The best kind of bacteria to get is Myoderma aceti. Over the next few months, you'll see a film covering the top of the wine that looks a bit grey and resembling leather. Once this starts to form, use the remaining wine and add a glass of wine each week to the mixture. You need to do this until the ‘top' sinks to the bottom. Trust me, it will happen, but you need patience!
Once the top sinks, the newly formed vinegar will need to be strained. Coffee filters are great for this purpose, but you'll need to do it a few times to remove all sediments. At this point, you can choose to age it for a longer period of time. Remember, the longer it ages, the more mellow the flavour will be. If you have a small wooden barrel, additional flavours will be added to enhance it.
Making red wine vinegar isn't as difficult as some people might think. Although the process takes about 3-4 months and it may take a few attempts, the result can be quite spectacular, especially with cooking!
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