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How to Make Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

Updated on February 23, 2011

Got a half bottle of leftover wine from that diner a few nights ago that’s probably never going to get drank? Why throw it out, with a little mother vinegar and a little patience, you can use that wine to make your own great tasting homemade red wine vinegar!

Why do it?

  • It will taste better than most anything you can get at the store
  • It’s a cool thing to do
  • It takes something that has little or no value – and transforms it through a little love and a little time, into something that’ll earn a place of honor on your kitchen counter and that’s special and unique enough to give away as gifts.

So how do you do it?

How to Make Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

There are different paths you can take to your own homemade vinegar, but this here is about the easiest way to go about things (it’s pretty much foolproof). The two things you need to start with are:

  • About 2 cups of red wine
  • About 1 and ½ cups of live cider vinegar (a vinegar which contains a live bacterial mother starter. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty commonly found and will work great for this)

Mix the vinegar and the wine together and pour into a clean glass container (like a washed out old wine bottle). Cover with cheesecloth, or something else that will keep the flies and what not out, but let air traverse in and out.

Store the bottle in a dark place for 2 weeks. Do not move it around.

After 2 weeks, taste. It should taste good and be ready for use. Pour off as much as you’ll need to use for a few weeks into a new clean bottle, being careful to keep all sediment in the original bottle. You now have a red wine vinegar ‘system’ that will keep you in homemade vinegar forever, and that will keep producing vinegars that taste better and better over time.

  1. You now have a use-now bottle and the original bottle. The use now bottle, is ready to be used as needed
  2. And, whenever you have any leftover wine, add it to the original bottle – making sure you wait at least 2 weeks after any addition before use. This original bottle will just keep getting better and more complex tasting as it ages and as you add wine over time.


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    • carolinemoon profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow.. looks good, thanks for this information.

    • ohjiunleng profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      looks great ! must find one day try to do it:)

    • UncorkedReport profile image


      7 years ago from Northern New Jersey/ New York City

      Quick question, once you make teh first bottle, do you need to add more mother vinegar when you repeat the process or is the leftover sentiment enough to keep the process going? If so, how long will that sentiment remain "active"?

    • UncorkedReport profile image


      7 years ago from Northern New Jersey/ New York City

      Quick question, once you make teh first bottle, do you need to add more mother vinegar when you repeat the process or is the leftover sentiment enough to keep the process going? If so, how long will that sentiment remain "active"?

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for all the comments!

      Blair, when you add new wine you do not have to add new vinegar. The vinegar you have going on is 'active' and will convert the added wine to vinegar on its own.

    • Coffee_writer profile image


      7 years ago

      That's great. Sometimes (far too often if you ask me) I buy wine that I don't like and then wonder what to do with it. I cook a lot and always buy my wine vinegar, but not any more!

    • Blair Rockefeller profile image

      Blair Rockefeller 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I love it. With the amounts of salads I'm eating to lose weight I'm going to do this. I got a question. When you add more wine to the origional bottle to make more, do you need to add more vinagar too.

      Thanks for the great hub.

    • GPSWorldTraveler profile image


      7 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Wonderful to see an actual recipe - this reminds me of sour dough starter. Thanks for the post.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the instructions on making red wine vinegar.

    • lrohner profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Very cool! Red wine vinaigrette is my favorite salad dressing, so I can't wait to try this. Thanks!

    • Teegan E. Ross profile image

      Teegan E. Ross 

      7 years ago from Hovering over my keyboard.

      Never would have thought to do this, but I bet it's yummy. Thanks for the suggestion.


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