Does It Go Bad?

Information about storage and shelf life of various products

Does Red Wine Vinegar Go Bad?

Does red wine vinegar go bad? Red Wine Vinegar is made from red wine and consists of water and acetic acid obtained by fermenting ethanol. Depending on the use and quality preferred, fermentation can take as little as one day to several months or years. The quality also depends on how the ingredients are handled. Quality wine vinegar is produced using wood casks to give a nice flavour. Red wine vinegar comes in different qualities, the longer the maturity period, the better the quality. It is mainly used in the kitchen to make sauces, desserts, salad dressings and marinate meat although it also has other numerous medical, domestic and industrial uses.

How to store red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar if not stored properly after opening can disintegrate further. Once exposed to air, it can evaporate and thereby lead to loss of flavour and colour may also change, but it still remains safe for consumption as long as it is stored properly. The right container to store vinegar should be either made form ceramic or glass and should not have any metal or even stainless steel, this is because vinegar reacts with metal and causes corrosion. It is also of utmost importance to tighten the lid in order to avoid any air from entering and causing evaporation. The date of storage should be clearly marked on the bottle so that you know the best date to use by.

Lavendar, Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil and Salt
Image used under Creative Commons from Alpha

Shelf life of red wine vinegar

When stored in a refrigerator and according to the right specifications including use of correct containers, the vinegar can be used for another six months since the date of first opening. If it is not possible to store in a refrigerator, one can store in a cool, dry and dark cabinet where you can be guaranteed of same quality without deterioration in quality for another three months. Apart from flavour and colour changing which are not unusual, vinegar has an indefinite life span and would still be safe for use if it is stored properly. According to studies conducted red wine vinegar is proven to be self preserving, even without refrigeration and the only changes that occur are aesthetic and do not have any effect on the safety or usability of vinegar and as such can be consumed confidently.

How to tell if red wine vinegar is bad

Vinegar contains alcohol thus most of its essential elements will evaporate within six months once opened, the flavour is also lost. When stored improperly, a cloudy look appears but this can be removed using a filter and used to prepare more vinegar. To tell if red wine vinegar has gone bad, it develops an unpleasant smell and should not be used further, especially if it has been used or was opened a long time ago and exposed to air. If it had not been opened, manufacturers give a life span of three and a half years. In some cases where wine is stored in a warm place it can begin to cook and its smell can change including a brownish colour developing. Sometimes, the cork used can get wet and develop a mould which can get into the wine and cause its quality to decrease and further give it a bad smell.

Summary
Does red wine vinegar go bad? No, it can be used for an extended period of time, the only changes that occur is the change of colour to a cloudy look and perhaps a change from the original flavour. The important thing to do once you have opened the red wine vinegar is store it in a glass container and seal the jar tightly to avoid any air from entering. Place it in a cool dry and dark cabinet or in the refrigerator and the vinegar is good to serve you for the longest time. Once in a while, you can remove the cloudy substance when it becomes too much. For best results, you should always buy quality red wine vinegar which is more costly, has a complex flavour and distinct aroma, cheap red wine vinegar will subsequently give poor results and your food will also have poor results. You can easily check from the labels for the specific quality to use when purchasing red wine vinegar.

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