All dressed up and nowhere to go...except to stand and wait until the magic has taken place. That magic in this case is the transformation of wine into vinegar. Each and every year, we invest in the time, energy and resources(and hopefully not too much money) to make this magic happen. Actually, the magic happens by a chemical reaction of transforming wine, fruits and natural sugars into alcohol, and then breaking them down into vinegar or acetic acid. We take the various wines that we have or purchase and add various fruits, berries, herbs, spices and such to concoct wonderful vinegars like fresh raspberries and anise hyssop...black mission fig and black pepper...rhubarb and vanilla...blackberry and lemon verbena...red wine with spices...late harvest wines...apricot and anise hyssop...fennel and riesling...apple and cider with thyme etc. Once all the ingredients are snuggled safe in their crocks and pots...we allow them to rest, in the dark, in the mildly warm environment, nurturing along the way with additions of new wines and gentle stirring. After about 3 months or so, we start to notice a change in smell and acidity. It is taking place. After another month or so, we see this reaction even greater. Usually, that is around the time we strain the mass and add a new "reset" of the same flavoring ingredients we added in the beginning to revive and strengthen the flavor profile. With some luck, faith, hope and a little bit of sweat, we end up about 6 months later with a beautiful tasting, smelling vinegar that we use throughout the year on various salads, appetizers, fish/meats, sauces and desserts. Way cool. And...if we are extremely lucky, and if the vinegar god likes us...we are gifted with a beautiful "mother", a jelly-like substance that forms on top of some vinegars that is a living culture that feeds off the vinegar and can be used as a starter culture to form new vinegars, similar to that of a sourdough starter. Cherished! Of course...there are disasters in which the wine turns to shit instead of a nice vinegar. It happens. Flies, unwanted bacteria, bad mold, bad yeast in the air and simply bad conditions due to nature can have an adverse effect on the production. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this one as we always do. All we need is a little patience.


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