More complex than the sharp apple cider vinegar and less overwhelming than balsamic, sherry wine vinegar has a robust non-astringent quality that boasts nuance and a clean brightness at the same time. Use it for anything from finishing a dish to creating its base flavor profile. Replace that gratuitous squeeze of lemon with a few drops of sherry vinegar for some added complexity or use it to make vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces. Wherever a dish could benefit from a pop of bright, bold flavor, add a dash of this delightful condiment!
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What is Sherry Vinegar?
Loaded with complex nutty flavors, you won't find in other vinegars sherry vinegar is the one condiment to keep on hand at all times. Sherry vinegar comes from sherry, that rather than being fortified is instead, fermented, a process that transforms its alcohol into acetic acid. Afterwhich it is transferred into oak casks where it spends a minimum of six months maturing and soaking up those delightful oaky flavors and aromas. Like an aged balsamic, some of these vinegars spend decades inside wooden barrels developing over the course of generations to attain exquisite nuance and bold flavor.
Understanding the Sherry Vinegar Grading System
Governed and labeled by an age classification system in the same way true balsamics are, sherry vinegars are segregated into three main classes. While a numbered vintage is not given on the bottles, their titles denote their general age. Any bottle labeled Vinagre de Jerez has aged a minimum of six months, while Reserva indicates an age of at least two years and Gran Reserva signifies at least a decade spent in those oaken aging barrels. The older the vinegar, the more it takes on the flavors of the wood it has aged inside. Evaporation also lends older sherry vinegars slightly more body and a concentration of acidity.