25 March 2012

"Corked" Red Wine Vinegar Reduction

We have had a very bad run of luck in our household.  Three bottles of wine...two days...all corked....in a row!  YIKES.  Needless to say, there are some you can exchange and others you can't.  Everyone has that happen from time to time, and it sucks.

When this happens with a $15, you suck it up and throw it out.  But when its a $35+ bottle, I felt that I could use it for something.  After all, corked wine is vinegar....why not cook with it?

So to use a bad bottle and add some flavor to a few dishes, I decided to bust out a corked red wine reduction.  I've done this with two different bottles, one lighter & fruitier and the other darker and more tannic.  There are only two ingredients - wine vinegar & sugar - but the amount of sugar you use really depends on the wine you had to begin with.  A spoiled cab is going to take more sugar to soften than a pinot noir or merlot.

Pour a drizzle over caprese bites....

Also great over edamame.  But try it on whatever!

Corked Red Wine Vinegar Reduction
  • corked red wine or red wine vinegar
  • 1-4 tbs sugar or artificial sweetener
Pour about 4 times as much wine vinegar into a saucepan and add sugar.  The wine will reduce by about 2/3 so you'll have to start with extra.  Stir in sugar, more for stronger wine vinegars or if you want a sweeter sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly.  When wine vinegar has reduced by 2/3 - 3/4 it will be ready.  To check if its thick enough, dip the back of a metal spoon in the sauce and swipe the back with your finger.  If it leaves a stripe in the sauce, it's thick enough.

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