How to do a Vinegar Tasting
Many people have heard of wine tasting, but not many know that there is such a thing as vinegar tasting. Still fewer know that there are contest in which superior vinegars compete for honors just as the wines and other spirits compete. A true Vinegar connoiseur should know how to do a Vinegar tasting. The Vinegar Man has developed his own technique to taste vinegar. Here's how it works.
What you need
- You will need a snifter shaped glass of from 2 to 6 ounces to pour the vinegar into. You will not be drinking this much vinegar. But it will give you enough vinegar to be able to collect the delicate aromas. Here are a few practical ones.
- You will also need some swabs. These will allow you to get just enough vinegar to taste the delicate flavors with less conflict with the sourness.
- A stack of napkins
- Some glasses of water to rinse the mouth and neutralize the vinegar between tasting
- You will also need some flavorful vinegar. Try to find some unique and exotic vinegars to make it a memorable experience. Four to six kinds will be plenty, if it is your first time. After that the party can be expanded to comical extremes.
- If you can't find interesting vinegars locally check our Vinegar Mart. If you don't find anything there you like, contact me. I sometime share my private reserves and special contacts.
- Literature or other information about the vinegar should be made available to the tasters, unless it is a blind taste test.
- Additionally you should have a list of the vinegars being tested, some comment sheets
- Have a few recipes that use some of the vinegars available for you guest. Vinaigrettes, marinades and bread dips can usually be counted on to show of the taste of most unique vinegars.
- Assemble all of the equipment and materials and arrange them on a table
- The vinegar to be tasted should be at room temperature. It should be left in its container until it is time to be tasted.
- Explain to the guest what you are doing and how to do the tasting.
- Ask the guest to reserve their comments until after everyone has had a chance to finish. Why?
- Emphasize that it takes time to taste vinegar and it takes concentration
- Make sure to pass out the comment forms. They will serve as memory to help the guests remember what they tasted.
- After the tasting has been done, encourage sharing of the experience.
- Let the guest know where they can find any vinegars they like.
How to taste vinegar
- Pour one type of vinegar into one glass, i.e., if you have six kinds of vinegar you need only six glasses.
- Allow the vinegar to sit for at least a few minutes
- Pick up the glass and hold it up to look at it.
- Cupping the bowl of the snifter in the palm of your hand, lower the glass to about sternum height and, while gently twirling the vinegar for about one minute, smell the vinegar.
- Dip the swab/applicator into the vinegar for at least ten seconds. Then place the swab onto the center of the tongue and press it into the roof of the mouth.
- Do not swallow for about one minute.
- Pay attention to what you are experiencing
- Then swallow and continue to pay attention to what is happening in the mouth for about one minute.
- Write comments on the experience
- Repeat this until you have experienced all of the vinegars.
- When everyone had finished share you experiences with others. You may find they will want to try some of the vinegars again after you hear what others have experienced
- Take picture of the event, send them to me with comments on the vinegar and I will try to post them for the other vinegar fans to see.
Major Vinegar Tasting
If you or your group wants to put on a major vinegar tasting event or would like to include vinegar tasting at your event contact me. Vinegar tastings are a memorable addition to
- House parties
- Fairs and festivals
- Culinary events
- University and cooking school classes and special events
- Food and culture events