Vinegar and Wine: What’s the Connection?
Wine and vinegar are both products of fermentation, however with wine, sugar is fermented into alcohol and with vinegar, alcohol is fermented into acetic acid. So if you want a bottle of vinegar, start with a bottle of wine, right? No, it doesn’t exactly work like that! If you leave a bottle of wine open for a couple of weeks, bacteria called Acetobacter will turn the alcohol into acetic acid. However what’s left is a spoilt bottle of wine, not a choice bottle of vinegar.
Acetic acid is a volatile organic acid often encountered in food and is the main acid responsible for ruining a bottle of wine, but it is also the main ingredient which gives vinegar its flavour. Wild Acetobacter will produce a vinegar with undesirable taste and aroma, thus if you want to make a tasty vinegar you need to introduce an especially cultured Acetobacter, or simply unfiltered vinegar which has the appropriate Acetobacters already. See the recipe below if you want to make your own vinegar!
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