Balsamic Vinegar vs Red Wine Vinegar
Vinegar is an acidic liquid produced from alcoholic beverages, and it is certainly a very versatile product. It is being used by mankind since ages, and the folklore is that it got created by accident when wine was left to come in contact with air that turned it sour. If one looks at the etymology of the word, he finds that it comes from French vinaigre which literally means sour wine. There are dozens of varieties of vinegar of which balsamic and red wine vinegar are two popular varieties. The differences between balsamic and red wine vinegar shall be talked about in this article.
The traditional vinegar fermentation process takes place when wine is placed in wooden casks with holes to allow for aeration. The alcohol gets converted into acetic acid and vinegar is formed. Balsamic vinegar is classic Italian vinegar that is formed in the traditional manner. On the other hand, red or white wine vinegar takes just a year or two to ferment (balsamic vinegar may take up to 12 years to age). Great care is needed to make full bodied balsamic vinegar from grapes as they are crushed and aged in specially made barrels that allow both oxidation and fermentation. As it ages and evaporates, it is transferred into smaller barrels, and after 12 years of careful preparation, one gets balsamic vinegar that is thick and dark in color. It is possible to get low quality balsamic vinegars that are aged for just a few months. These should not be called balsamic vinegars at all. Even medium grade vinegars are aged for just 2 years, whereas true balsamic vinegar is aged for 12 years, which is why it is very expensive.
Wine vinegar can be made from either red or white wine. It is one quality of vinegar that is most common in France and some other Mediterranean countries. There is a huge range of wine vinegars with most getting prepared in a maximum of 2 years. These wine vinegars have a brownish color and a mellow flavor. Cheaper varieties of red wine vinegars have an aggressive flavor and are typically less aged.
What’s the difference between Balsamic Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar?
• Red wine vinegar, as the name implies, is made from red wine, and is aged in wooden barrels for 2 years.
• On the other hand, balsamic vinegar is prepared from grapes after they have been crushed, aerated and fermented for many years.
• Balsamic vinegar is more expensive than red wine vinegar.
• Balsamic vinegar is dark in color than red wine vinegar, which also has a mellower flavor.