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Can you recommend a particular brand of sherry vinegar?

Okay, here I am finally back in NYC visiting. A few months ago on CH I got turned on to the wonders of sherry vinegar and knew I could find it once we got here. We were at Fairway yesterday and they had LOTS of it. Is there a particular brand that you like? Is there a medium priced one? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
PS: Do you think this should be on the Manhattan board?

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  1. it probably is best to post on Manhattan board if you're looking to buy it here in the city, and i haven't been to Fairway in ages, so i don't know what they carry, but i can give you some general guidelines....

    the prices vary widely, mostly depending on age. true sherry vinegar will be labeled as "Vinagre de Jerez." the cheapest ones are only aged for about 6 months, the moderate ones (the label will say "Reserva") are aged for 2-3 years, and the really pricey ones (the label will say "Gran Reserva") are aged for at least 10 years.

    i don't use the super-expensive stuff very often because i cook with it *a lot* and i'd go through it to quickly. plus, i think the quality of the moderately priced Reserva is very good anyway.

    i have a bottle of the Columela brand Reserva in the cabinet right now, and that's pretty much my go-to because it's easy for me to find at WFM and specialty shops around here...usually costs around $9 at Whole Paycheck so the price might be lower at Fairway.

    expect to spend at least $7-8 for a 375mL bottle, and don't bother with the really young stuff - get the Reserva (or the Gran Reserva if you want to splurge). i've found that the lower-end/younger ones lack the body and complexity of the more aged vinegars.

    if you do decide to buy the Gran Reserva, they typicaly come in 250 mL (slightly over 8 oz) bottles, and i've seen prices ranging anywhere from $8.99 to the mid $20s. if you see a Gran Capirete for less than $17 or $18, or the large (17-oz) bottle of Cepa Vieja for under $25, grab one of them, they're both terrific.

    hope that helps...and welcome back! ;)

    9 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Oh, goody, this is EXACTLY the kind of info I'm looking for! I know they had some from Jerez and I'm pretty sure I saw some Gran Reserva. Didn't even glance at prices since I clearly needed more info before purchasing. Thank, ghg.
      (BTW, I'd recommend a *roadtrip* to the Fairway in Harlem. It's HUGE. There's a space that's as big as a small store that's completely refrigerated containing everything from fish to meat to dairy product to, well, anything that could remotely need or want refrigeration.)

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        If you want to find the best quality sherry vinegar in all price ranges, go to Despana, 410 Broome Street.
        http://www.despananyc.com

        1. re: penthouse pup

          This looks incredible! Is it *just* a market or can you eat there also? I can see doing some serious damage there :) Thanks, p p

          1. re: c oliver

            c o, this is off topic for sherry vinegar, but I hope Kalustyan's is an intended stop in your NYC food-shopping intinerary. Do. Not. Miss. Kalustyan's.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Oh, you're killin' me :) And not off-topic as I bet they have sherry vinegars. I've printed MMRuth's UES shopping list but didn't look to see if this is on it. I think I'm going to be throwing away ALOT of clothes to make more room in the suitcase for goodies, including vinegars. Thanks a mil, CM

              1. re: c oliver

                There are many other stores I would go to first in search of sherry vinegar, including Fairway; that's not Kalustyan's area. It's a small market jam-packed with goodies including an amazing selection of rices and grains, dals, and bagged spices, which are very fresh. I shopped there for years, and every time I went in, I discovered new things. Upstairs, there's a prepared food area selling good Middle Eastern things. I recommend nabbing a pound of the French organic tricolor couscous while there; it has not just color, but flavor.

                Despite currently living in an area with great food shopping resources, I miss Kalustyan's all the time. It's at Lexington Ave. and 28th Sts., in "Curry Hill." In the next block, there are four or five veg South Indian restaurants that would be good lunch options. There are threads on the Manhattan board discussing their relative merits.

                More worthwhile stops for chowing/food shopping are Chelsea Market at 9th Ave and 15th, and Sahadi in Brooklyn. There are discussions of these on the Manhattan and Outer Boroughs boards, or you can start new ones!

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Adding links:

                  -----
                  Kalustyan's
                  123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                  Sahadi's
                  187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                  Chelsea Wine Vault
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                2. re: c oliver

                  I get mine at Kalustyan's. 750 ml bottle, brand name Don something or other, cream label with gold printing, maybe $10.00? They have several.

            2. re: penthouse pup

              *doh!* [smacks head]. i can't believe i forgot about Despana! the ideal place to buy sherry vinegar (and anything else related to Spanish cooking) in NYC.

              -----
              Despana
              408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

          2. I have tasted and bought many different brands of sherry vinegar, but the best by far is Lustau brand, from Jerez, Spain, with the numbers 1/24 on the bottle. They have come out with a new sweeter vinegar meant to compete with balsamico that has the numbers 1/5 on it. That is not the style I am talking about. The 1/24 (I have no idea what these numbers refer to) is the traditional style of sherry vinegar. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive at around $20 for a 375 ml. bottle. Really, it is best if you never taste it, because once you have tried it, it is really hard to settle for anything else.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jmnewel

              Your last sentence is so cute :) Thanks for the strong rec. You know I'm going to have to get it if it's available, don't you???

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. O Olive Oil's sherry vinegar is my favorite. Find it in most upscale grocers or order from their website ooliveoil.com. Delicious and a gorgeous bottle too.

                1. The original comment has been removed