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Culinary Basics: Champagne Vinegar

Updated on July 4, 2011

Culinary Basics - Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is a wonderful vinegar that is made from the same grapes as champagne and pinot meunier. Culinary basics would not be complete without taking a look at this gourmet vinegar that packs a great flavor but does not come at a great price!

You can purchase champagne vinegar in an orange muscat variety at your local Trader Joe's and it is a delightful vinegar to use in many, many recipes in place of pure white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

You can also find it on line or in some supermarkets in different variations.


Uses for Champagne Vinegar

The youtube video gives a great demonstration on how to make a champagne vinegar antipasti. That is just one of the many salads that you can use champagne vinegar to enhance.

Champagne vinegar is aged much the same as white or cider vinegar and unlike balsamic vinegar, has a relatively clear color so your vegetables will not turn darker when it is added.

It makes a great base for a pasta salad and is an excellent complement for any kind of Greek or green salad.

I have also used it on coleslaw instead of apple cider vinegar and it was an excellent substitute - especially if you decide to add pineapple to the coleslaw and you use the citrus variety I like so well.

Champagne vinegar has an almost vanilla-like taste and is a favorite summertime addition to the many salads I make up.

For a low calorie dressing, use 1 package of artificial sweetener and 3 tablespoons of champagne vinegar.

Also use it with olive oil and spices for a delicious marinade for chicken or fish.

Champagne vinegar is good for diabetics because it has that delightful vanilla taste but no sugar.

Because it is a little sweet though, you can add it to tomato based sauces to cut the bitterness of the tomato.

How To Make Your Own Champagne Vinegar

If you have leftover champagne (or you just want to make champagne vinegar) - pour the champagne into wide-mouthed mason jars.

Leave the lids off the jars.  In a few weeks, the vinegar you have created will be ready to use as champagne vinegar!

Store it covered for up to 6 months.


Champagne Vinegar Vinaigrette

Recipe will make 1 cup


  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 3/4 cup light extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Herbs, dried or fresh finely chopped


  1. Combine mustard and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk together.
  2. While whisking, slowly add olive oil and continue to whisk until well blended.
  3. Or process mustard and vinegar in a mini-prep processor and slowly add the oil through the feed tube while the processor is running until smooth.
  4. Add salt and pepper, herbs to taste.
  5. May be kept covered in the fridge for up to 1 month.

This is pretty close to Martha Stewart's recipe although I do mine with herbs and I use light extra-virgin olive oil, leaving out the salt and pepper.

Summing Up Champagne Vinegar

If you're in the market for something fresh and exciting when it comes to an alternative for say balsamic vinegar, give champagne vinegar a try. 

The light vanilla taste is a welcome addition to many salad dressings and even for using with fruit.  A wonderful combination is to make a champagne vinegar and walnut oil dressing.  It is a delicious blend of vanilla and a little nutty bite.

Whatever you use champagne vinegar for, enjoy this specialty vinegar and experiment to see what foods or dishes it works best in!


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