Thursday, October 12, 2006

Killer California Vinegar

Here’s a little something for the well-stocked kitchen.

It’s zinfandel vinegar from O Olive Company. I have to admit that I almost bought it just for the cool bottle and the stylish graphics. However, once I popped the top and tasted some, I was hooked.

I am a vinegar junkie. My dad once looked into my pantry and said, “Do you think you have enough vinegar?” Cider, red wine, white wine, sherry, balsamic, rice wine, white: one can never have too many to choose from. I use some more than others, but I’m always on the lookout for something new.

I like zinfandel. I like vinegar. Seems like a no-brainer.

This stuff surpassed all my expectations. It’s bright and tangy with wonderful red fruit flavors. I could go wild discussing possible uses, but before you do anything just pour some out on a plate with some tasty olive oil and dip your favorite bread product. Heavenly.

Using the Orleans methods, the vinegar is made in small batches and aged in oak barrels for two years and augmented with a touch of California cherries before aging six months more. It’s a real handcrafted product and the quality really shines through in the flavor.

I’m thinking it will make an awesome reduction that would compliment anything from duck to filet, but it’s damn good all by itself.

The same company makes an array of vinegars and, as the name indicates, olive oils. You can bet I’ll be sampling more of their products in coming months.

The zinfandel vinegar isn’t cheap at about $14 a bottle. But, that’s not bad for really high quality vinegar. Good balsamic will cost you a whole lot more.

I picked up my bottle at Earth Fare, but I’ve seen it in numerous stores around town.

Try it. You’ll like it.

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