Using wine and vinegar is common in recipes. For example, red wines and whites are used in sauces, stews, and other culinary delights.
The kinds of vinegar made from these wines retain the qualities of the wine from which they are made. Sherry wine vinegar is no different and has a flavor like no other vinegar due to its origins.
Often overlooked as a stuffy concoction imbibed after dinner at fancy restaurants and events, sherry Wine has unique flavors not found in any other alcoholic beverage. These unique aspects carry over into sherry cooking wine and kinds of vinegar.
Lovely as an aperitif’ or a cordial, the nutty flavor enjoyed by the sip, can be added to your dishes by using sherry cooking wine or sherry vinegar. Read on to learn more.
Sherry cooking wine vs sherry vinegar
Authentic sherry wine is produced from grapes grown in the wind triangle of Spain. It ranges in flavor from dry to sweet depending on the amount of sugar added while aging. Sherry cooking wine and sherry vinegar are made from sherry wine, and they are not interchangeable in your recipes. Besides salt, Sherry cooking wine has a flavor much like table sherry. Therefore, it is excellent in sauces, stews, and casseroles. Sherry vinegar, however, is acidic, like other kinds of vinegar. Yet, it has the depth of flavor of the wine from which it is made. Nutty and rich with a slight sweetness, sherry vinegar wine is used to make vinaigrettes, glazes, and marinades.
Sherry Wine’s Origins
Drank as an aperitif and cordial, chefs have long used sherry to make sauces and enhance stews and other recipes.
Authentic sherry wine is made from grapes grown in Jerez, in Spain’s Andalusia region, also known as the wine triangle.
The clayey soil, climate, and hundreds of years of dedication to producing this alcoholic beverage in this part of the world offer us sherry wines that range from very dry to sweet.
Fermenting and Fortifying Sherry Wine
The white grapes used to make sherry come from Palomino, Pedro Ximenez, or Muscatel varieties of grapes. After the juice has been squeezed from the grapes, yeast is added, and the mix allows it to ferment.
After the fermentation process has stopped, brandy is added to the sherry wine until the desired alcohol strength is reached. This is the process of fortification, and its purpose is to raise the alcohol level of the wine.
Most wines reach an alcohol level of 11 to 13 percent. However, finished sherry wine has 16 to 18 percent alcohol content.
Most sherries are dry during their initial fermentation, and sweeteners are added later to give the sherry the flavor sought by the creator.
Aging Sherry Wine
Sherry wine is aged differently from other spirits, except for other fortified wines. The system they use for the process is the Solera or Criaderas system.
This system of wine aging mixes old and new wine to keep the flavor of the product consistent. Other products aged in this manner are Madeira, Lillete, Marsala, Muscat, Muscatels, Port wine, and beer, rum, and sherry vinegar.
Yes, sherry vinegar, like its alcohol-infused counterpart, is aged. So, you can buy young sherry vinegar that is only six months old or a product that has been aged for six, seven, or eight years.
Sherry Cooking Wine
Sherry cooking wine is Sherry wine that has had salt, potassium, and potassium metabisulfite added to extend its shelf life. Like pure sherry, cooking sherry can be dry, sweet, or somewhere in between.
Although sherry is a smooth, silky beverage, cooking sherry is too salty to be enjoyed in the same way. Like sherry, it can be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. The different flavors have different uses in recipes.
Since sherry-cooking wine is the product of sherry wine, made from white grapes, it is a golden amber color. It is suitable for roasts, stews, casseroles, stir-fry, sautéing, sauces, and gravies.
Therefore, Sherry cooking wine is very versatile, and it will impart its sweet nuttiness to recipes, new and old.
A problem making sherry from the start was casks of wine that fermented improperly and became vinegar. However, it took centuries for winemakers to deal with this waste and learn it was useable and profitable.
In the 1950s, sherry vinegar became a culinary creation. It was then learned that by adding acetobacter, alcohol turns into acetic acid, and sherry wine becomes vinegar on purpose, instead of by mistake.
Like sherry wine, sherry vinegar is aged using the Solera method. The old vinegar is mixed with the new to maintain the consistency of the flavor.
You can use sherry vinegar to make marinades, vinaigrettes, pan sauce, and glazes. In addition, you can use a few drops in the place of lemon juice in your recipes to add a unique flavor to an old dish or a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sherry Cooking Wine vs Sherry Vinegar
What is fortified wine?
Fortified wines include Sherry, Port, and Madeira. In addition, ‘fortified’ wine has had a distilled spirit added to it during its aging process.
Can you drink sherry-cooking wine?
You can probably drink sherry-cooking vine but it is very salty and doesn’t taste pleasant.
Is there alcohol in sherry-cooking wine?
Sherry cooking wine has the same alcohol content as sherry wine, ranging from 12 to 17 percent by volume.
Is there alcohol in sherry vinegar?
There is alcohol in sherry in vinegar. The concentration is very low however and lies between 0.5 to 2 percent. The process used to turn wine to vinegar uses alcohol to fuel the process and leaves little behind.
Sherry cooking wine vs sherry vinegar adds flavor to your recipes!
Whether you are making a sherry cream sauce or vinaigrette for a salad of fresh greens, you need the right ingredients in your kitchen.
Even a Sunday pot roast can be enhanced with a bit of sherry wine. Try it, and you may need to make a permanent notation on your recipe.
Knowing when and how to use sherry cooking wine versus sherry vinegar can mean the difference between a recipe with stellar results or one that goes amazingly flat.
From sauces to desserts, salads, roasts, stews, and casseroles, sherry cooking wine vs sherry vinegar are two products you need in your pantry.