What Does Red Wine Vinegar Taste Like?

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In this article, we're sharing everything we know about red wine vinegar. We'll tell you what it tastes like, what makes it different from white wine vinegar and which recipes are best for this flavorful condiment.

red wine vinegar with glass on a table

Let's get started...

What Does Red Wine Vinegar Taste Like? 

Red wine vinegar has a very specific flavor. It's tangy, of course, but it's much tangier than balsamic vinegar, which tends to be mellowed out with a touch of sweetness.

This vinegar may be a bit fruity like red wine, but it doesn't taste like wine. The sourness is what you'll taste most. It's a clean, vibrant flavor that'll spice up your salad greens.

Red Wine Vinegar Texture 

Whereas balsamic vinegar has a somewhat thickened texture, red wine is thin—watery, even. But it may also contain floating bits a cloudy substance as it sits.

This is an innocuous sediment that can naturally occur in vinegar. It may grow if you don't use the vinegar up quickly, but it can easily be strained out.

Does Red Wine Vinegar Taste the Same as White Wine Vinegar? 

Many people can't really tell something made with white wine vinegar and something made with red wine vinegar apart. You have to try them alone to taste the difference.

What can be said about red wine vinegar is that it delivers a more powerful flavor. You'll probably get a stronger fruitiness from it as well, but it's still very subtle.

How Can You Tell If Red Wine Vinegar Has Gone Bad? 

That can be pretty tricky. You see, many sources agree that red wine vinegar, like a handful of other vinegar types, is unlikely to go bad.

As we mentioned before, even if you start seeing sediment in a bottle, it's not necessarily bad. The best way to tell is to smell it to check for any foul odors. And of course, if you detect a funky taste, your best bet is to chuck it.

What Can You Replace Red Wine Vinegar With? 

White wine vinegar is a natural replacement for red wine vinegar as it's so similar. Balsamic vinegar, another common type likely to be sitting on the kitchen shelf, isn't the best choice since it's a completely different flavor, sweeter, deeper and earthier.

Either rice wine vinegar or just rice vinegar could also step in for red wine vinegar since they're light, though they're sweeter. Regular white vinegar could also do the job, but it's comparably bland.

Red Wine Vinegar Recipe Tips 

All of the different types of vinegar have their own special uses, so we'll help you get an idea of how to use red wine vinegar. Just check out these quick videos.

Here's a recipe for an oil-free red wine vinaigrette. It's sugarless, but if you'd like a little sweetener, try maple syrup or agave.

The ingredients are simple:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Zucchini puree
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh thyme

This is the kind of vinegar you want for vegetables with strong flavors, like collard greens. This recipe balances the basics: sweet, salty, pungent and tart.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Collard greens
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Coconut oil
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Maple syrup
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh thyme

Wrap Up 

Red wine vinegar is among the tangiest vinegars with a touch of fruitiness. It makes a zippy salad dressing and can be swapped for white wine, rice wine or rice vinegar. When you come across bitter greens, add some red wine vinegar to cut the bitterness and add a little sweetener for a healthy, delectable side dish.

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