White Wine Vinegar is obtained by the natural fermentation of white wine. It ranges in colour from clear white to pale yellow, depending on which wine is used.
Good-quality white wine vinegar has a mellow, rounded taste and is aged for several months in wooden barrels; cheaper varieties with a sharp, tart taste are produced quickly by brewing white wine with vinegar-soaked beechwood shavings.
White Wine Vinegar is best for use as an ingredient in salad dressings and sauces. It is also ideal for pickling fruit and vegetables.
Using White Wine Vinegar
White Wine Vinegar can be a very practical ingredient to have on hand as part of a recipe. Its culinary applications include pickling, salads, and marinades. The flavour is strong, so start with small amounts if you’re using it for the first time.
Some of the most popular uses for white wine vinegar in the kitchen are:
- Pickles: When paired with pickling spices and water, white vinegar makes a great base for crafting a wide array of quick pickles, including vegetables, fruits and eggs.
- Salads: A splash of white vinegar can brighten up the flavour of some types of traditional and composed salads. Always start with a small amount and conduct a taste test before adding more — it’s easy to go overboard and ruin the dish!
- Marinades and Sauces: White wine vinegar gives an extra zing of flavour to marinades and sauces. In marinades, the acid in the vinegar also functions as a tenderising agent for meats, seafood and vegetables..
Consumption is safe in moderation but could be dangerous in excess amounts or alongside certain medications.
Health Benefits Of White Wine Vinegar
Some of the possible health benefits of white wine vinegar include:
- Blood sugar control: A 2005 study published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” showed white wine vinegar reduced the glycemic index of food when it was consumed along with a meal. In healthy patients, this vinegar may help regulate blood sugar and provide short-term appetite control. The same study found that white wine vinegar reduces insulin sensitivity in diabetic individuals, and may help to slow progression of the disease.
- Weight management: Some studies indicate that consuming vinegar may increase fullness by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties, possibly leading to reduced calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.
- Reduced cholesterol: Animal studies have shown reduced cholesterol in mice given vinegar. Ultimately, more research is needed to determine a cause-and-effect relationship between vinegar and cholesterol.
- Antimicrobial: Because of its antimicrobial properties, vinegar may be useful for treating physical ailments including nail fungus, warts and ear infections. It’s also an effective topical treatment for skin infections and burns.
- Anti-Tumour Properties: An article published in “Medscape General Medicine” in 2006 links white wine vinegar consumption with anti-tumour properties, suggesting a potential link between vinegar and cancer. In laboratory tests, white wine vinegar was shown to slow the progress of some types of tumours, or even to prevent new tumours from forming. This property may be attributed to vinegar’s high polyphenol content. Like other antioxidants, the polyphenols found in white wine vinegar may reduce cancer risk due to their ability to neutralise free radicals in the body.
Health Benefits – A Word of Caution
Although white wine vinegar is generally safe, too much of a good thing could prove harmful.
- Consumption of too much vinegar may exacerbate symptoms of inflammatory conditions in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract such as heartburn or indigestion.
- Excessive consumption of acidic foods such as vinegar can contribute to degradation of tooth enamel. Some research indicates that white vinegar may be more damaging to your teeth than other types of vinegar.
- Additionally, some research suggests a potential for adverse effects when certain blood sugar and heart medications are supplemented with vinegar. These may include low blood sugar or low potassium levels.
- Always consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
White Wine Vinegar Substitutes
White wine vinegar adds mild and lightly sour flavour to an assortment of foods, and the closest substitutes have similar characteristics and versatility. Although other vinegars lend different flavours, you can substitute any vinegar for white wine vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.
- Lemon or lime juice: If citrus flavour is appropriate for your recipe, use lemon or lime juice in place of white wine vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.
- White wine: White wine has less acid than white wine vinegar, but a strong flavour all its own. It substitutes best for white wine vinegar in sauces for chicken or fish but is too strong for salad dressings
- Mild VinegarsUse a mild vinegar for light salad dressings, for sprinkling on subtle-tasting foods like avocados or baked leeks, or in a cream sauce to top shellfish or artichokes.
- Champagne vinegar: Made from Champagne, this vinegar is as mild as white wine vinegar and has a fruitier but delicate flavour.
- Rice wine vinegar: This vinegar has less acidity than champagne vinegar and white wine vinegar.
- Strong VinegarsA stronger vinegar is good for adding tang to vegetables, potato salad, risotto or cream sauces for fish or poultry. Use 1 to 2 teaspoon less than you would white wine vinegar.
- White vinegar: Regular white vinegar is more acidic and has a stronger flavour than white wine vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is also more acidic and stronger tasting than white wine vinegar.
- Red wine vinegar: This vinegar has a strong, bold flavour and high acidity.
- Balsamic vinegar: Available in dark and white varieties, aged balsamic vinegar has more sweetness and a stronger flavour than white wine vinegar, but it has a low acid level. Balsamic vinegars totally transform the flavour—and with dark balsamic, the colour—of a recipe. It works for dishes in which stronger flavours are welcome, such as rich salad dressings or poultry sauces.
- Specialty vinegars: Tarragon, sherry, raspberry and other herb or fruit vinegars have distinctive flavours that substitute for white wine vinegar in salad dressings and some sauces, depending on whether the fruit or herb pairs with the meat or vegetable it accompanies.