Welcome to the Urban Farmer! We’re going to kick off this blog with a ‘How to’ post perfect for the holiday season…there will be a lot of parties and a lot of wine, which MIGHT not get completely drunk.
If you do end up with half finished bottles that you simply can’t face drinking yourself, there’s no need to pour them down the sink. Instead, try to make your own vinegar, it’s very easy and weirdly satisfying to do!
What you will need
To start with you will need some leftover wine. The quality of the wine will ultimately reflect in the flavour of the vinegar, so make sure you use wine you would actually drink. Get yourself a glass container such as a jar and some muslin/cheese cloth. Lastly, get your hands on some mother culture. This is the magic ingredient which will help turn the wine into vinegar. One of the easiest ways to get the culture is to buy unfiltered vinegars such as apple cider vinegar which specifically contain mother. You can then let the mother harvest and then transfer to your new vinegar or buy vinegar culture.
Once you’ve got all the necessary tools, you’re nearly there. Pour some of the wine and vinegar culture (follow instructions that came with the culture) into the jar. If you’re getting the established mother culture from other sources of vinegar, you will see that it will probably float in your container. This is a sign the culture is fresh and at its best.
Cover the jars with muslin cloth and tie it with string or use an elastic. This will keep flies out, but more importantly will give the wine and mother culture the air it needs to do develop.
The waiting game
Once the jars are covered, place them somewhere dark, such as the back of one of your kitchen cupboards. Whenever you’ve got some leftover wine, pour some into the jars (try to keep red and white separate…rosé is flexible!). Give the process at least 2-3 months. After this time, check your vinegar and quite simply taste it. You will know if it needs more time (still tastes like wine) or is ready to be poured onto your salad or chips!