Does red wine vinegar go bad?
It's been cold here in San Francisco, so we haven't been eating a lot of salads these days. I haven't used my red wine vinegar for probably about six months, but when I did need it this past weekend I noticed a solid white block covering the top layer, At first I thought it was frozen. It has been cold but not that cold. The best way to describe it was like a layer of fat that forms once stock is refrigerated, only stark white.
I shook the bottle hoping this would just disolve into the vinegar but it never did. It did disloge and sink to the bottom, I did use it but my dish didn't turn out as good as it usually does, so I wonder did my vinegar "go bad"? It was an organic brand, but I don't know if that makes any difference.
Have you seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? If so, do you remember those things that crawl into people's ears and take over their minds? Something is growing in my bottle of red wine vinegar that has that sort of awesome, snail-like shape and I refuse to throw it out because it looks so cool. The wife doesn't know about it because she doesn't really do that much cooking. If she knew she'd probably make me chuck it. I think it's too cool to toss and I'm waiting to see how big it gets. I'll see if I can take a picture and upload it. Unless, of course, it achieves consciousness, jumps in my ear, and subjugates my free-will.
Actually it's the "mother", meaning that you have some very good vinegar, the real thing. Maybe another hound can help me with the explanation but what you've got is a living yeast culture which changes wine to vinegar. If you really want to have some chowish fun, try to extract it from the bottle, put it in a jar with some leftover wine and in a few weeks: voila! you've got homemade vinegar.
Try googling homemade wine vinegar and you'll no doubt come up with a more detailed explanation.