Champagne vinegar and white wine vinegar are both made from wines and might seem essentially the same, but they have some important differences. If you intend to cook French food regularly, keeping both kinds on hand for different applications is a good idea. How do these two kinds of wine vinegar compare? Let’s break down the similarities and differences below.
Table of Contents
- How does champagne vinegar differ from white wine vinegar?
- Can you use champagne vinegar in place of white wine vinegar? And vice versa?
- When should you use champagne vinegar? And when should you use white wine vinegar?
- Must-read related posts
How does champagne vinegar differ from white wine vinegar?
Different fermentation methods are used for champagne vinegar and white wine vinegar. Champagne vinegar is fermented champagne wine collected after the wine has been bottled. Unlike most other wines, champagne is fermented twice to give it its distinctive fizz.
The second fermentation takes place in the bottle, and it is only after this fermentation that the wine becomes fizzy. As a part of the second fermentation process, the bottles are uncorked for their sediment to be removed. With the sediment, some of the wine is poured out; the expelled wine is fermented in oak barrels and then filtered and bottled as champagne vinegar. You can also make champagne vinegar at home by placing some champagne in a wide-mouthed container and covering it with muslin or another fabric. After six months in a cool and dark location, you should have champagne vinegar.
White wine vinegar is made by placing white wine in large vats and oxidizing its ethanol to produce acetic acid. The resulting concentrated product is diluted and bottled as white wine vinegar.
Champagne vinegar and white wine vinegar have different flavor profiles. Champagne vinegar has a mellower and more delicate flavor than the more assertive white wine vinegar flavor.
Can you use champagne vinegar in place of white wine vinegar? And vice versa?
Champagne vinegar is one of the best substitutes for white wine vinegar. Its more subtle and refined flavor profile enables it to work well in most recipes that call for white wine vinegar, possibly better in some instances. While it can work in any dish, you may be better off using it in raw applications. Cooking may cause you to lose some of the nuances in its flavor profile. You should also consider cost when making this substitution since champagne vinegar is more expensive than white wine vinegar.
White wine vinegar can make a decent substitute for champagne vinegar. It is noticeably more pungent and fruity, but its flavor won’t detract from recipes that require champagne vinegar. And it has a similar color, so it won’t affect the appearance of paler dishes. White wine vinegar has the added benefits of being easy to find and less expensive than champagne vinegar.
When should you use champagne vinegar? And when should you use white wine vinegar?
Use champagne vinegar in any dish where you want its nuanced and light flavor to complement rather than overshadow your ingredients. Use it to accompany premium ingredients when you want their flavors to be the focus. It is an excellent option for lighter vinaigrettes and classic French sauces like Bearnaise sauce and mayonnaise.
White wine vinegar has a more robust flavor, making it better for applications like marinades and braising liquids. White wine vinegar can be used for classic French sauces like Hollandaise and Bearnaise sauces but should be your second choice after champagne vinegar.