This is a sour liquid comprising a dilute solution of acetic acid. It is obtained by the natural fermentation of white wine. It ranges in colour from clear white to pale yellow, depending on which wine is used. Good-quality white wine vinegar has a mellow, rounded taste and is aged for several months in wooden barrels; cheaper varieties with a sharp, tart taste are produced quickly by brewing white wine with vinegar-soaked beechwood shavings.
Cheap vinegar, produced from inferior white wine, will give poor results to your finished dish. Buy good-quality, aromatic vinegar with a complex flavour. The label will often specify which type of wine has been used.
It will keep in a dry cupboard almost indefinitely, and will mature as it keeps.
Use in vinaigrettes, sweet-and-sour dishes, marinades, pickles, chutneys, and butter sauces. Or infuse with fresh herbs to make flavoured vinegar.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala
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