Weeknight Cooking

What Your Go-To Vinegar Says About You

March  2, 2018

Don’t sleep on vinegar. The tangy, biting kitchen staple deserves all your love. In her book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Samin Nosrat proves just how vital something like vinegar is in cooking:

“Foods that are the most enjoyable to eat cause our mouths to water—that is, to produce saliva. Of the five basic tastes, acid makes our mouths water the most… Acid, then, is an integral part of many of our most pleasurable eating experiences.”

See that? Acid, and thus vinegar, is literally necessary for food to taste good! Okay, Nosrat doesn’t go that far, but you get the point. Vinegar = friend. If we can all agree on that, then another quandary arises: Which vinegar do I use? There’s white and balsamic, red wine and rice wine, and don’t forget, please don’t forget, vinegar of the apple cider variety. There’s a slew, a bunch, a buffet of choices. Every recipe calls for a vinegar all its own, every cook has their preferences. What does your vinegar of choice say about you? Consider this your acidic horoscope:


Ah, the sultriest of the bunch. You, my friend, are unctuous and sweet and slightly fruity. You’re hard to see through and extremely versatile: You pair well with some of the sweetest, but let’s not forget your darker side as well.

Apple Cider Vinegar

You’re fun, funky, and hard to pin down! Who knows where we’ll find you next? One second you’re brightening up a salad; the next, a chocolate cake. We should all be careful not to let your playful appearance fool us—you’re secretly a workhorse and rarely disappoint.

Rice Wine Vinegar

You’re a crowd-pleaser, and in the best way. You like to blend in and do your best work in the company of others. Some would probably call you loyal, humble—all that good stuff. Don’t get it twisted; you may be shy, but you pack a big punch.

Red Wine Vinegar

Do you wear glasses? Because you sure are wise. You lend yourself well to situations that take time. Low and slow is your motto, and thank goodness it is.

Sherry Vinegar

We all have that friend who’s fleeting, fickle, hard to pin down. And that friend is you. Sherry, you may have many, many imitators, but none are quite like you. Your loved ones have tried to figure you out, but alas, it's an impossible task. Go on with your bad self, sherry vinegar! You may not have the widest army of fans, but your small circle remains intensely devoted.

Champagne Vinegar

Oh, look at you! You’re having more fun that the rest of us, aren’t you? Of course you are, you’re champagne vinegar! It should come as no surprise that you’re bubbly and bright and full of life. You bring light to everything around you, but beware because a little bit of you goes a long way.

So which vinegar are you? Let us know in the comments.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Mickey March 10, 2018
Rice Wine is my go to Vinegar.
Marion G. March 3, 2018
Sherry vinegar. I also really enjoy spiced vinegars for veggie marinating, especially Salata.
nancy E. March 3, 2018
Rice wine for most of my needs. Love the light crisp taste
FrugalCat March 3, 2018
I'm white balsamic!