How can I use up massive amounts of wine vinegar?

I cleaned out my moms cupboards for her and found she has been accidentally hoarding gallons of vinegar, particularly red wine vinegar and balsamic. She has enough to last her natural life for salad dressing. Any suggestions on how to use some of this?

  • Posted by: lloreen
  • January 14, 2016


LeBec F. January 16, 2016
susan, couldn't you write to the editors and see if they might want you to do a feature?
Susan W. January 16, 2016
Lol. While earth friendly, none of the cleaning recipes are edible. ;)
amysarah January 16, 2016
I was thinking the same thing! Many features here are about non-edibles...for instance, home design. I think this would be a great fit.
Susan W. January 16, 2016
It's out of my wheelhouse. I'm more of a "message me if you want a recipe", fly under the radar kind of person. I'll mess around and see if I have enough to say.
amysarah January 16, 2016
Fair enough! Maybe one of the editors will decide to do something, and consult you for some intel.
Liz D. January 15, 2016
Make infused vinegar to give as gifts.
Maedl January 15, 2016
You can use the red wine vinegar for marinating beef for Sauerbraten. I put white or cider vinegar in a spray bottle and use it around faucets to dissolve the lime and other minerals that build up.
LeBec F. January 15, 2016
wow, susan, i knew you were something, but REAlly, your own cleaning supplies? you are one hot ticket!
Susan W. January 15, 2016
Lol. I do. Costs me $1.09 to make a huge container of liquid laundry detergent. That's the only one I've costed out, but I'm saving a bundle on everything...and spending it on artisan soy sauce. :) Message me if you want some recipes.
Nancy January 14, 2016
Lots of good ideas so far.
There are also several uses in house cleaning (e.g., mix with baking soda for a non-corrosive drain cleaner) and personal care (e.g. as a rinse after shampooing), especially for white and cider vinegars. Web search will turn up many ideas. As always, be sceptical and careful...example, some advise using it in machine washing clothes, others say it corrodes soft (rubber or synthetic) fittings of the machine.
Susan W. January 14, 2016
Those diy ideas would only be using distilled white vinegar. I make all of my own cleaning supplies from toilet bowl cleansers to laundry detergents. I would never use wine vinegar.
ktr January 15, 2016
Wow! Your own toilet bowl cleaner! Does it work on hard water/tannin colored? I enjoy making my own cleaners but I've been hesitant to try a toilet bowl cleaner because of our water. It is also why I do not make my own laundry soap; our water turns our white clothes orange.
Susan W. January 15, 2016
KTR, I live in Oregon and we don't have hard water. My mom lives in San Diego which has hard water. I sent her a homemade dishwasher pod and it left a film. I read that for hard water, you should use more citric acid. Most of the commenters for the recipes come up with variations for hard water. It's worth looking into.
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 14, 2016
Doesn't red wine vinegar have a short shelf life once opened? Approx 6 months?
Susan W. January 14, 2016
Nope. I have a bottle of Red Star (good reviews on ATK) that is preserved with metabisulphites (had I realized that, I would not have bought) that has no "best used by" or "expires" date. I also saved a bottle that is sadly empty now of vinegar aged in oak casks from Cabernet grapes for 15 years. Sulfites are only naturally occurring. No "best by" or expires. I think vinegar simply lasts and lasts because of the acid.
AntoniaJames January 14, 2016
Red wine vinegar: pickle red or yellow beets in it. Recipe in Virant's "Preservation Kitchen." If you pickle golden beets in it, add a red beet to make them a gorgeous sunset orange color (what I call "luminous beets" in a recipe with the same name here).
Save several gallons for the summer time and use it for pickling other things. Any recipe that calls for "white vinegar" (bleahhhh. I agree with Kevin West that white vinegar should be kept in the cupboard with household cleaning supplies and used for no other purpose) and in many cases, cider vinegar, will be better when made with wine vinegar. Confirm the acidity level on the label (must be at least 4.6 for safe pickling or other canning), remembering that a lower number => greater acidity. Good discussion with accurate details on this topic here: ;o)
Susan W. January 16, 2016
I have to stick up for white vinegar. It's often used in Asian recipes such as hot and sour soup. I've tried rice wine vinegar and it isn't the same. Also this recipe that Creamtea posted in a thread. It's fabulous.
amysarah January 16, 2016
White vinegar is also also used in many old fashioned Jewish recipes - e.g., pickled herring or salmon, cucumber or beet salads, traditional sweet & sour dishes - e.g., brisket, cabbage soup or stuffed cabbage, etc. Of course, these days, many cooks use wine vinegar or cider vinegar instead (my own sweet and sour cabbage soup on this site subs lemon juice for my grandmother's vinegar) - but the oldies with white vinegar, made well, are still soul satisfying goodies.
HalfPint January 14, 2016
You could use some of it to make a shrub cocktail. Lots of shrub recipes on Food52
dinner A. January 14, 2016
You could quick-pickle some vegetables in the red wine vinegar.
Smaug January 14, 2016
Catsups and chutneys can use up a lot and keep well, but you're probably fighting a losing battle. Some people use boiling vinegar to clean off burnt on foods, but it reeks horribly and baking soda works better anyway- you certainly wouldn't want balsamic for that.
Susan W. January 14, 2016
I agree with CV. If they are sealed, donate to a food bank. They must be sealed though because they operate on the same rules and guidelines as grocery stores. If they aren't sealed, you could portion them out and gift to friends.

Something fun to make with balsamic is a balsamic glaze. I don't know where the recipe that I used came from, but it's brown sugar and balsamic reduced on the stove until it thickens to a glaze to your liking. Delicious on meats.
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 14, 2016
You can use a cup of red wine vinegar with braised chicken. David Lebovitz & NYT has recipes for this dish.
702551 January 14, 2016
I would donate to the local food bank, not worry about trying to deal with it. This is more of a storage headache than a cooking challenge.
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