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Red wine vinegar: worth it to buy better-quality?

I frequently use red wine vinegar for salad dressings, marinades, etc. I usually just buy Heinz or a vat of the store brand. However, I just finished up said vat and am now wondering whether it's worth it to invest a little extra money in a better brand. For example, if I were to spend $13 extra on something like this, would it appreciably affect my salad dressing experience?: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

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  1. I will be interested in what others have to say, but I have been happy with Spectrum Naturals RWV. I think it is $5.99 at Kroger for 16 oz. I like it much better than Heinz.

    1. For whatever it's worth, I saw America's Test Kitchen do a blind tasting of red wine vinegars, and the winner was Pompeii, the people who nearly put me off olive oil forever when I was a teen. So there you go.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JonParker

        Actually, It's Pompeiian, but a quick Google search shows that even though it's about the cheapest brand around, America's Test Kitchen, Cooking Light magazine and the Washington Post all ranked it at or near the top.

        So I guess the answer to your question is no.


        1. re: JonParker

          I've used this this off and on for years. It's surprisingly good for the money.

        2. Over the years I've used a number of brands of red wine vinegar, including store brands and the Regina brand. I've narrowed my preference down to the Star brand and use that exclusively now. Its acidity tastes the best to me. I've never tasted a $13 dollar vinegar. It would have to be amazing for me to spend that much.

          1. I guess I'm an outlier but I will only use the pricey wine vinegar I found at Zabars. Forget the brand name....

            But the difference was a kick in the head!

            1. I've gotten hooked on sherry vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: firecooked

                I love sherry vinegar, too

                And vinegar de banyuls

                The wine vinegar I use is Martin Pouret. Both red and white.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Banyul vinegar company now also has a muscat one available, one of the things l stock in both US and Paris kitchen.
                  Incase you did not know, Martin Pouret vinegars are the only 'Orlean' process vinegars left in France. This means they make wine, age it in casks, then add a vinegar mother at the last minute before bottling. It Is indeed as good as it gets.

              2. I usually just buy the supermarket's own brand of vinegars (except for cider vinegar as they don't sell an own brand)

                1. I make sure the red wine vinegar is from a slow process fermentation, (alcoholic fermentation) and for my tastes one that has 5-6% acidity.

                  1. I'm not sure I can tell the difference. My go to is Napa Valley Naturals red wine or whatever store brand. I did shell out for the aged vinegar and it tasted the same.

                    1. I have discovered that home made is notably better. I keep two crocks going, one red and one white. Buy a small bottle of each, organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized. Look for bottles that have wisps of mother in them. You can't, that I know of, make vinegar by just letting wine sit around. You need vinegar mother. It is fun. It is cheap. At least in my opinion, it is superior.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tim irvine

                        I agree about making your own vinegar. I used to make my own vinegar for many years. I still have several gallons left, made with all kinds of wine, made separately. Merlot, chardonnay, cabernet, desert wine, litchi wine, cider, dark ale, etc. Also to some I would add dry fruit and let it sit in the wine as it turned to vinegar over several months. Great flavor.

                        I have made it with wild mother forming. The Acetic acid bacteria are in the air everywhere. It just takes longer for the process to start.

                      2. I love exotic vinegars, but for red wine vinegar, which I use the most, I prefer Pompeii brand. It was in the top three in the Cook's Illustrated tasting, and has good acidity and a clean bite. It is perfect to add a pure acid note without a lot of added flavors, and I get a case, (12/16 oz bottles from Amazon for just over $24.00 including shipping.

                        1. Until recently l might have thought l agreed with you, then tried Corti Bros house vinegar, 1/2 gallon for@ 15-16, major Oh My.