Red Wine Vinegar

I am in the middle of packing boxes and bags, ready to run to Frankfurt and the love of my life. It is news that is so overwhelmingly incredible that it puts a smile on my face so big my cheeks hurt for weeks already.

Being very relucatant to change, I am not sure why I keep moving.

Alongside the water in Amsterdam I am living next to (well, for now), there is a piece of art named “Along the Kostverlorenvaart, goes the ship called ambition”. And every time I find myself going somewhere new, I think about this piece of random city-art. What is it that makes me move away, rather than staying in this one fantastic place on earth with its beautiful canals, terraces, amazing coffee and cheese and the best people imaginable.

But there is something driving me and this time I know for sure, I am moving without anything else on my mind than happiness.Even though I am in the middle of this all-absorbin festive move, I am fully aware that it is the small things in life that brighten up every day and that count up to the most of happiness (if it would ever be a sum:)). And small scale happiness is in my view using leftovers to make an awesome second-day meal, or to make sure nothing goes to waste.This wine vinegar combines a bit of both, by recycling leftover wine (if there ever is any) and tastes wonderful in dressings and gives a bright note to dishes. This red wine vinegar is punchy and just the right thing to make steak tartare with, for example. I love to put this in a pretty bottle and to see this as a little trophy of homemade luxury.

Red Wine Vinegar
Approximately two weeks times to ‘ripen’.

  • leftover red wine (or champagne, rose wine, white wine)
  • 50 milliliters of (cheap) vinegar, it can be any kind, I would just go for a simple, not too strong tasting one, I used a white balsamic vinegar
  • a dark glass bottle
This is much more of a rough estimation than a recipe.
The key to make vinegar out of wine is to expose the liquid to as as much oxygen as possible to make sure acetic acid bacteria can do their job in transforming the alcohol. You can make vinegar from scratch, where you leave the wine for a long period of time exposed to as much air as possible.
I have found that this takes quite a bit of discipline and patience, and I have found that the following works.This technique uses a starter to speed up the process. You could argue that the taste would be a little harsher, due to the cheap vinegar that is used to begin with. In my opinion this is almost negligible. Plus, you can keep pouring ‘new’ wine on top of the vinegar you create with this recipe, meaning that even if there is any taste of the starter vinegar, it will soon enough barely be there.
It is difficult to determine a precise amount of time that this vinegar needs to ripen, your nose will be your best guide here.

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