Red Wine Vinegar: Benefits & Red Wine Vinaigrette Recipe

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Red Wine Vinegar: Benefits & Red Wine Vinaigrette Recipe
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Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine until it becomes sour. Red wine vinegar is a flavorful ingredient used to make vinaigrettes, salad dressings, or marinades. Apart from adding a zingy acidic taste to salads, red wine vinegar has many health benefits. You can easily make healthy and delicious red wine vinaigrette salad dressing to help boost digestion, control blood glucose levels, and even help lose weight!

You can also use red wine vinegar to make a low-calorie, nonalcoholic health tonic. Although its sharp taste may take some time getting used to, some people start their day by drinking a glass of diluted red wine vinegar. However, the most popular use for red wine vinegar is making a vinaigrette with olive oil and other ingredients.

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In this article, you will learn about how red wine vinegar can benefit your health. You will also find out how to make a simple red wine vinaigrette salad dressing with a few ingredients.

What is Red Wine Vinegar?

Red wine vinegar is made from red wine. In order to make red wine vinegar, acetic acid bacteria is added to the red wine to ferment it. The bacteria gradually turn the alcohol in the wine into acetic acid and, therefore, there is no alcohol in red wine vinegar. (1)

As the red wine ferments into vinegar, sediment forms in the liquid which is known as the “mother” of vinegar. This is said to contain probiotic compounds that can help to boost the microflora in your gut. (2)

The best type of red wine vinegar to buy is the unpasteurized, raw variety that still contains the mother. Red wine vinegar has a sharp acidic taste because it contains between 5% and 6% of acetic acid.  Raw red wine vinegar usually has a milder taste than the cheap, low-quality varieties that have been mass-produced and are commonly found in supermarkets.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about red wine vinegar going bad. When stored properly, red wine vinegar has an almost indefinite shelf life. However, after about 6 months the flavor and taste of red wine vinegar may start to deteriorate.

If you regularly make healthy red wine vinegar salad dressings or drink diluted red wine vinegar, you shouldn’t have to worry about it expiring.

Red Wine Vinegar Uses (Salad Dressing, Marinade, Health Drink)

Here are a few simple ways to use red wine vinegar:

Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing. You can mix olive oil and red wine vinegar to make a simple dressing. You can also add some herbs and spices for seasoning.

Red wine vinegar marinade. Marinating meat in a marinade made from red wine vinegar is a great way to tenderize meat and enhance its flavor.

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Red wine vinegar health drink. You can add one or 2 tablespoons of raw red wine vinegar to a glass of water and consume daily as a refreshing nonalcoholic health tonic.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

It is extremely easy to make a delicious oil and red wine vinegar salad dressing with a few simple ingredients.

A red wine vinaigrette made with olive oil not only gives your vegetables a wonderful taste, but it is also good for your heart. Even the American Heart Association has published a red wine vinaigrette recipe on their website. (3)

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic also report that the health benefits of a red wine vinegar and oil salad dressing include lowering blood glucose and improving your heart health. (4)

Homemade red wine vinaigrette recipe (for salads and sandwiches)

For this delicious oil and vinegar salad dressing, you will need good quality olive oil, unpasteurized red wine vinegar, and some herbs and spices.

Here is how to make a red wine vinegar salad dressing:

  1. Put a ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil and a ¼ cup of red wine vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard and 1 clove of minced garlic.
  3. Sprinkle over a teaspoon of dried oregano.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Whisk the ingredients together until the oil and vinegar emulsify and the vinaigrette has a silky-smooth texture.

An even easier way to make your own red wine vinaigrette at home is to put all the ingredients into a mason jar. Secure the lid and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined.

You can store the vinegar salad dressing in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

The vinaigrette recipe is so versatile that you can easily substitute some of the ingredients. For example, instead of mustard, you could use Greek yogurt or tahini to give it a twist. Or, you can use fresh herbs instead of dried Italian herbs.

To enjoy your red wine vinaigrette, toss salad leaves, chard, or other greens and fresh vegetables in the dressing. Or, you can use the vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken or beef.

Red Wine Vinegar Nutrition

One of the many reasons to enjoy a red wine marinade it that it is a low-calorie salad dressing with many health benefits.

The United States Department of Agriculture says that a tablespoon of red wine vinegar (15 ml) contains the following nutrients:

  • 2 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 carbohydrates
  • 0 protein
  • insignificant traces of minerals

Many of the benefits of red wine vinegar come from antioxidants that form naturally as the liquid ages. A 2018 study into the chemical makeup of wine vinegar found that it is a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids with antioxidant activity. (5)

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Research has also found that red wine vinegar contains anthocyanin compounds. These are pigments that give red wine its color and have been associated with anti-inflammatory activity and helping to improve cardiovascular health. (6, 7)

Another reason why raw vinegars such as red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are good for you is due to acetic acid. Studies have shown that acetic acid from vinegars may help to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, manage body weight, and regulate blood glucose levels. (8)

Red wine vinegar is also antimicrobial by nature with disinfecting properties. (9)

Red Wine Vinegar Health Benefits

Let’s look in more detail at a number of health concerns that red wine vinegar addresses.

Red Wine Vinegar May Help Lose Weight

Getting rid of excess body weight is one of the most popular reasons for drinking diluted red wine vinegar or using red wine vinegar salad dressings.

A study from Japan found that drinking 2 glasses of diluted vinegar a day helped obese men lose weight over a 12-week period. The vinegar drinks were made by adding one or 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 250 ml of water. (10)

A study involving mice found that adding acetic acid to the diet helped prevent an accumulation of body fat. (11)

Learn how to create other healthy weight-loss drinks if you want to get rid of belly fat and get a flatter tummy.

Find out more about the science behind vinegar drinks such as red wine vinegar in helping to lose weight.

Red Wine Vinegar Can Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

Making a salad with a red wine vinaigrette dressing is a good way to prevent blood glucose spikes after eating.

Some studies have found that eating a salad with an oil and wine dressing prevents blood glucose from rising after eating bread or potatoes. (12, 13)

A red wine vinaigrette dressing is a good accompaniment for your meal if you have type 2 diabetes. One 2016 study found that the acetic acid in the vinegar helps to improve insulin sensitivity and modulate glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. (14)

Consuming a red wine vinegar drink before going to bed can also have a positive effect on fasting blood glucose levels. In one study, apple cider vinegar was used as the source for acetic acid. Participants took a glass of water containing 2 tablespoons of vinegar before going to bed. Scientists noted a reduction in next-morning fasting glucose levels. (15)

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Fresh vegetables and leaf salads prepared using red wine vinaigrette dressings are just one of the many foods that are good to eat if you have diabetes.

You can also learn more about how to use apple cider vinegar if you need to control blood glucose levels.

Red Wine Vinegar Could Help Improve Digestion

Your digestive health could benefit if you consume red wine vinegar as a salad dressing or in a health tonic.

The reason why red wine vinegar can boost your digestion is that it contains healthy bacteria for your gut. Probiotic bacteria such as the type found in wine vinegar helps improve your gut’s microbiota. However, it is important to only choose the raw and unpasteurized type of red wine vinegar. (16)

There are some anecdotal reports that red wine vinegar drinks may be good if you have heartburn and indigestion.

It is said that consuming vinegar boosts stomach acid levels. Some signs of acid reflux are actually caused by low levels of stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). Other than increasing stomach acid levels, raw vinegar has been associated with reducing symptoms from acid reflux in a small study from 2015, although the acetic acid in the study came from raw apple cider vinegar. (26)

Learn about the best teas to take if you think that your digestive system isn’t working properly.

Red Wine Vinegar May Help Lower Cholesterol

The cholesterol-lowering effect of red wine vinegar may help prevent heart-related disease and hardening of the arteries.

A study involving animal subjects found that regularly taking vinegar helps to bring down LDL cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol that is associated with cardiovascular diseases. The researchers suggested that taking vinegar drinks could help prevent a buildup of arterial plaque (atherosclerosis). (17)

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that an olive oil and red wine vinegar salad dressing could help tackle high cholesterol. As well as vinegar helping to lower cholesterol, consuming olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce cholesterol levels. (18)

Learn more about why salads prepared with red wine vinaigrette should be part of your cardiac diet.

Red Wine Vinegar May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Including red wine vinegar can be good for your heart health because it could help to treat hypertension.

Although there have been no studies on the anti-hypertensive effect of red wine vinegar in humans, some animal trials have shown promising results.

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One trial found that consuming red wine vinegar beverages helps to inhibit certain enzymes that are associated with high blood pressure. (19)

Some studies have found that acetic acid such as the type in red wine vinegar has hypotensive effects and may help control blood pressure. (20, 21)

As well as making lifestyle changes to manage high blood pressure, you can find out more about the science behind the blood pressure-lowering effect of certain vinegars.

Red Wine Vinegar is Antimicrobial

The antibacterial action of vinegar made from red grapes is another reason why raw, natural vinegar is good for you.

Vinegar has a long history of being used as a natural disinfectant to kill off various germs. One study found that a 6% solution of vinegar is strong enough to destroy tuberculosis bacteria. The solution of vinegar was also effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. (22)

Another study found that a combination of salt and vinegar helped kill off E. coli bacteria to help prevent food-borne pathogens that can cause food poisoning. (23)

If using vinegar as a surface disinfectant spray, you can use cheaper white vinegar. Make a disinfecting a solution of 2-parts water to 1-part vinegar and add a little dish soap. Spray on surfaces to kill off germs and other bugs.

Red Wine Vinegar Has Antifungal Properties

Red wine vinegar, as with most vinegars, is also effective for helping to prevent or treat fungal infections.

The antifungal properties of vinegar have been shown to be effective against Candida albicans yeast strains. One study found that immersing dentures overnight in a 10% vinegar solution helped to reduce oral yeast infections. However, the solution didn’t kill off all fungal pathogens. (27)

Learn more about how to use vinegar to treat various yeast infections, including vaginal yeast infections, skin infections, and oral thrush.

Red Wine Vinegar May Slow Down the Aging Process

Red wine vinegar contains antioxidants that have been connected with helping to delay aging.

Studies have shown that red wine vinegar contains anthocyanins – the antioxidant pigment that gives the vinegar its color. There is a total of 20 anthocyanin compounds in certain types of red wine vinegar. Foods rich in anthocyanin have been connected with helping to prevent certain age-related health issues. (24, 25)

Starting your day with a glass of diluted red wine vinegar may not be an elixir for youth, but it contains antioxidants that help to reduce the effects of free radical damage.

How to Make Red Wine Vinegar

It is surprisingly easy to make your own red wine vinegar at home. Homemade red wine vinegars usually contain more of the healthy compounds than the commercially-produced varieties.

To make vinegar from red wine, you only need 3 ingredients – good quality red wine, a bacterial culture, and water. The live bacterial culture is similar to the “scoby” used to make kombucha.

The way to make homemade vinegar from red wine is as follows:

  • Put 2-parts red wine and 1-part water into a large glass or ceramic container.
  • Add the live bacterial culture to the liquid and cover the top with cheesecloth and seal with a rubber band.
  • Leave the wine to ferment in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks. Usually, aged red wine vinegar that has fermented for 3 months tastes the best.
  • Every other week, shake the mixture.

Once your homemade vinegar is ready, remove about as much as you will need for a week and store in a glass bottle. You can then top up the fermenting liquid with more red wine that will turn into vinegar. This way, you can have a never-ending supply of your very own red wine vinegar.

How to Store Red Wine Vinegar

The best way to store red wine vinegar is in a cool, dark place in a sealed glass bottle or container. Many people find that storing fruit vinegars such as red grape vinegar in the refrigerator helps retain the flavor better.

Although red wine vinegar doesn’t go bad under normal circumstances, its flavor may taste “off” after it has been stored for 6 months or longer.

You don’t have to worry if your vinegar turns cloudy as it is still safe to drink or be used in a vinaigrette if it’s been stored properly.

Where to Buy Red Wine Vinegar

The healthiest type of red wine vinegar is the raw, unpasteurized variety that still contain the “mother.” Red wine vinegar should have 5% to 6% acidity. To ensure that you get maximum benefit from your vinegar, look for the type that is organic and unfiltered.

Most health stores and online stores stock red wine vinegar (like this one).

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