Red wine vinegar is vinegar made from red wine, as you might visualize from the name. The superiority of this vinegar can vary widely, depending on the quality of the starting ingredients, how it was handled, and how long the vinegar was allowed to age. Some red wine vinegars are quite costly, reflecting their extremely high quality, while cheaper vinegars tend to have a more raw, aggressive flavor.
To make red wine vinegar, producers allow red wine to ferment until it goes sour, producing acetic acid. A variety of other acids are often produced during the fermentation process, and the acid percentage varies, depending on how long the vinegar is allowed to ferment. Once fermentation is completed, the vinegar can be strained and bottled, or allowed to age.Aging is usually accomplished in wooden barrels, and the longer the vinegar ages, the mellower the flavor becomes. Red wine vinegar can be aged for up to two years before bottling, bringing out the natural layers of the flavor and allowing the aggressive tang to weaken somewhat. Typically, even after sanitization and straining, a small amount of sediment will remain on the bottom of the bottle.
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