When you have a compromised gut like I do from having eaten oils for so many years, it is very important to get lots of pro-biotics in the diet. To that end I have been trying to make and eat more pro-biotic foods. It has been a real struggle to find things that I like.
When I first read about eating vinegar I was skeptical because I have never liked the taste of store bought vinegars. But after having eaten a lot of home made foods that tasted nothing like store bought versions I decided that perhaps vinegar might be similar and I gave it a try. Since I had some really old wine in our refrigerator I looked up how to make wine vinegar online. It looked easy enough so I tried it. My first batch was red, but I have since then made white. I like both quite a lot.
Home made vinegar is nothing like what you pick up at the store. It is light, sweet, complex and yummy. I can actually taste it straight and enjoy it. It is wonderful on salads and adds spice to soups. I have used it in place of wine in a reduction sauce and added it to red sauce with great success.
The recipe I use is from a blog called Phickle http://phickle.com/wine-vinegar-how-to/
Homemade Wine Vinegar
I use 3 tablespoons starter vinegar for each 1 cup of wine. It’s important to use a living vinegar with actual pro-biotics in it. I found some unfiltered apple cider vinegar at my local co-op. I’ve used that each time with great success, but I might try using some of an old homemade batch next time. I use a wide-mouthed jar and pour both the wine and the vinegar in and stir well. Then I cover it with a cotton rag and hold it on with a rubber band. I put it in a cupboard to keep it dark and swirl it around a few times each day.
I’ve noticed that my kitchen smells a little like wine for the first week but that goes a way after the mother forms, in about 7-10 days. After that you have to put your nose in to see what it is doing. You can’t see the mother very well on red wine but on white it is pretty obvious. After three weeks it will start to smell less like wine and more like vinegar, at that point you can taste it. When it has a good flavor, nice and picante, I put it into an airtight container with a narrow neck, usually back in the wine bottle. Apparently continued exposure to air once you have vinegar will let it turn into water.