Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Background: A couple of years ago we left a half drunk bottle of Sirah on the counter and it went to vinegar. A really nice vinegar with a pleasant, mild flavor, and we've been using splash here and a bit there ever since. Now I'm down to circa half a cup.

Is this a live culture like a bread starter? Can I buy a bottle of a similar wine, and intentionally propagate the flavor of this stuff? Or is just a crap-shoot?

share|improve this question ... but I have no idea about the flavor. – derobert Mar 11 '11 at 21:09
'What's so unpleasant about being drunk?' 'You ask a glass of water.' – Sobachatina Mar 11 '11 at 21:20
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This video of Alton Brown - Good Eats explains it way better than I ever can.

If your bottle of wine turned to vinegar you probably have some "mother" at the bottom of that bottle that you can use in your next batch.

share|improve this answer
I don't seem to have big wad of mother, but I do have loose floating bits of something. Possibly I'm good to go. – dmckee Mar 11 '11 at 23:06
Since you have loose stuff try straining it, you might have more than you think. – LoveGandhi Mar 11 '11 at 23:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.