La Guinelle White Banyuls Vinegar - 250ml
This rare vinegar is hand-made by Nathalie Lefort and Michel Giurt in the town of Cosprons in the South of France. The region is particularly well known for its wines, including Muscat de Rivesaltes, Collioure and Banyuls. One taste of this Banyuls Blanc and we were hooked - in fact one whiff of its delicate floral bouquet and we were hooked.
Banyuls Blanc is very rare compared to traditional red Banyuls. The wine they use for this vinegar is 100% grenache gris. The process for making the vinegar is the same as with the red, aging the wine outside in oak barrels exposed to the natural elements where it will naturally acetify in the heat and air of the mediterranean environment. Following acetification, they move the vinegar to glass bottles where the sun helps the vinegar develop its color and a roundess to its flavors.
It has a faint blush of rose color with a silky mouthfeel. The nose is beautifully floral, with a touch of grapefruit and berries, balanced with a clean bright acidity. These are delicate flavors, not as deep as the red banyuls vinegar, and are more suited to pairings with fresh fruits, vegetables or fish.
|Country of Origin||France|
|Vinegar Type||White Wine Vinegar|
Vinegar Use and Care
Caring for Your Vinegar
What is vinegar?
Vinegar from the French Vin (wine) Aigre (sour), as with many delicious food products comes to us by way of gradual chemical changes resulting from exposure to natural elements such as time, bacteria and oxygen. Yet you'd be mistaken to consider the process of making fine vinegar as simply letting some wine sit out on your counter for a month or two.
Does vinegar go bad?
Caring for your vinegar is pretty simple but there are a few things worth noting. As with many products, the texture, flavor and aromatics of vinegar will change with extensive exposure to heat and light. While it will not technically "go bad" we find that well-stored vinegars maintain the flavors we expect much better than those that might be kept near a hot stove for several months.
Is vinegar sediment ok?
Some vinegars will have a bit of sediment at the bottom of their bottle. This will be the case for unfiltered vinegars and also can happen with vinegars that have been in storage for a long period. This sediment is not harmful and the vinegar will still be good to the last drop.
How is vinegar made?
The most ancient method of vinegar production is today called the continuous method, the surface method, or the more well-known, Orléans process - named after the French city of Orléans which was the center of French vinegar production in the 16th century.
This process is difficult to manage and maintain consistency and it takes a lot of time from raw materials to finished product. We work with a vibrant community of artisan producers committed to producing exceptional vinegars using this more time consuming and labor intensive method.
Most vinegar you'll find in supermarkets is produced using the modern innovation of 'submerged acidification' using industrial acetators to produce vinegar in a matter of hours. These vinegars are functional and inexpensive, but they lack any aromatic complexity and offer limited gastronomic value as compared to the more traditional vinegars.
How do I use vinegar?
Using your vinegar is easy... you likely have your favorite recipes, but here are a few ideas we love:
- A splash of vinegar in sparkling water for a refreshingly vibrant spritz
- A drizzle of balsamic over sliced fresh figs, a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano or a bowl of vanilla ice cream
- Quick pickling of vegetables by cooking a solution of vinegar, water, sugar and spices - cool and pour over the cut vegetables and set in fridge for a day
- Add a dash to finish your pasta sauce (balsamic) or your gazpacho (sherry vinegar) for an added dimension of brightness
Being a fan of banyuls vinegar, I bought this in France and it's excellent in viniagrettes, potato or lentil salad or to de-glaze a pan.
When I ran out, FK is the only place I could find it in the states.
Try it. If you like artisan vinegar, you won't be disappointed.