Where there's wine... there's vinegar.
In the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southwest France there is a small Mediterranean seaside town called Banyuls-sur-Mer where they produce the A.O.C. Wine of Banyuls. So, it's no surprise that the grapes grown on the region's ancient vines also yield one of the world's finest vinegars: Le Vinaigre de Banyuls. Made from the naturally sweet wine of Banyuls, the grape base for this very small production of "vin doux natural" (no sugar added) is 50% Grenache Noir, 40% Grenache Gris, and 10% Carignan.
From wine to vinegar in 5 1/2 years.
The wine begins its first year of aging in huge oak "foudres" (barrels) stored in cool cellars. It is then transferred to smaller 60-liter oak barrels and stored outside, where it will spend the next four years. The exposure to the Pyrennesian elements - the hot sun of summer and the cold winds of winter accelerates the aging process. The progress and quality of the fledgling vinegar is constantly monitored by an enologist: just like a fine wine! During its fifth year the new vinegar gets a jump-start from an older brother - a 20% solution of Vieux Vinaigre de Banyuls , which inoculates the Banyuls wine and turns it into full-fledged vinegar. An additional six months of aging in cool cellars is still required before it is filtered and bottled under the Le Vinaigre de Banyuls label.
Some fantastic uses:
- Create vinaigrettes with hazelnut and walnut oils, or high-quality extra virgin olive oils
- Marinate fish
- Deglaze your pans after sauteeing duck, mushrooms, or even... foie gras
- Make a mignonette sauce for oysters
- Drizzle on steamed vegetables
- Splash onto greens
- Create a pan sauce for roasted poultry
- Pickle roasted red & yellow peppers
- Marinate mushrooms
- Spritz over strawberries
- Prepare an amazing cole slaw
Aged in oak barrels for 6 years which gives it perfect balance and a wonderful flavor.
Bottled at the estate of Abbe Rous.
375 milliliter (12.7 fluid ounce) glass bottle