Sunday, August 7, 2016

When wine goes south, make vinegar

Next door neighbor opened a bottle of chardonnay which had been around for a while, didn't like it much, asked me to try it, if I liked it, to have it.  Otherwise he would toss it.  Whereupon I said, no, don't toss, let me taste and see.

Which I did, and it was halfway to vinegar already, so I asked if he'd like me to make vinegar with it instead.  He'd never heard of the idea, and doesn't cook, but his visiting friends do, and one was there and perked up quite a bit at the thought of a nice chardonnay vinegar next time she visits.  She cooks, and despairs of his eating well in her absence.

So if it works out, I'll share.  He did come over later to ask if the same applied to spirits!!  but I said I didn't think scotch really goes bad..and I doubted if the same chemistry applies.  Wines though are usually meant for fairly quick consumption, not for storing indefinitely. The ones people put down for generations are usually fortified wines designed for that purpose -- old port, sherry, that kind of thing.  Not a simple table white from California.

Here's the setup.  Wine poured into an open dish, for maximum exposure to oxygen and to the  fermentation ingredients always in the air, a splosh of chardonnay vinegar I had in the house already, not my own make, as a starter, whisk it up together to give it a jumpstart.  

Then cover with cheesecloth and a rubber band, to keep dust and insects out, let air in.  And wait a few days to see if this works as hoped.  I kept the bottle, to reuse for the vinegar.

I have to check now and then to see if a mother forms on the surface.  That shows you it's working.  And I'll keep you informed as to progress.


1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! We often have wine that has been forgotten in the refrigerator for far too long and ends up getting thrown out. This will be a good use for it - thank you!


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