The vinegars made with white wine and Champaign were also made with a vinegar starter, this time however, Bragg’s Organic, unfiltered vinegar was used. These vinegars turned out very nice. They still retained their wine smell and did not taste overly vinegary.
When you decide it’s ready, you’ll have 2 options. You may just want to invest more wine and water into the vessel (remember the 1:1:2 ratio) to jump-start a bigger batch, or you may wish to harvest the ready vinegar. If you harvest, be sure to leave 8oz of mother in the jar for making more vinegar at a later date. You can store the mother, jarred and sealed, in the fridge; deprived of oxygen, she will lie dormant.
A couple tips: Filter the homemade stuff before you use it if you prefer not to get slime in your salad dressing (but save that mother to make more!). And whatever wine you like to drink, use that to make your vinegar, since its flavor will still be present. Just be careful not to get carried away with the D.I.Y.
Now that I have a larger quantity of wine vinegar than what I can afford to buy at the store, my next adventure will be creating herbal vinegars. Yesterday, my farm intern and I collected chive blossoms and are making our first herb vinegar of the season. To make Chive blossom vinegar you collect a quart (or pint, if you prefer) of chive blossoms, rinse and spin in a salad spinner, put in a clean, sterilized jar cover with white wine vinegar put on a lid and place in a dark place for 2-4 weeks. Shake the jar occasionally and taste after 2 weeks. If you like it strain through a coffee filter and bottle. It will last for about a year and is great in vinaigrettes or add a splash to soups and greens.
This can become a fulfilling hobby: it becomes a self-sustaining, living process, almost like gardening. A portion of vinegar “mother” can be left in the production vessel after each harvest, and if you continually add more wine to this thriving liquid, the process can go on indefinitely, providing you with homemade vinegar for years to come. All your mother asks for is a little wine