Making red wine vinegar is extremely easy: all you need is wine and some time.
- ½ cup live raw vinegar, or vinegar mother
- 1 750-milliliter bottle of good red wine
- Pour the wine into a clean, wide-mouthed half-gallon glass jar. Put the lid on and shake well. Remove lid, and add water until the jar is about three-quarters full, along with the live raw vinegar or mother. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and keep the cloth in place with a rubber band.
- Leave the jar in a dark place at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks, checking regularly to see that a vinegar mother is growing on the surface, and no mold is forming. (If you see green, black or white mold, scrape it off; if it grows back, throw out the mixture and start over.) You should begin to smell vinegar after a few weeks, and can taste it every week or so to monitor the fermentation.
- After about 2 months, when the alcohol has acidified, or when a taste of the vinegar puckers the mouth, it’s ready to strain and bottle. Save the mother to begin a new batch. The vinegar can be used as is, or aged in the bottle for up to a year to mellow its flavor.