Vinegars have long been the unsung heroes of our larder. Versatile and packed with flavor, these condiments can do more than salad dressings—think satisfying pan sauces, tangy marinades, a final flourish over your favorite fruit… the possibilities are endless. Here are five vinegars that we carry on our shelves that you need in your pantry right now.
Banyuls vinegar—a sherry-like vinegar from Southern France—is made from the naturally sweet wine of Banyuls (50% Grenache Noir, 40% Grenache Gris, 10% Carignan) and aged in oak barrels for 6 years. This vinegar has a forward tang with a hint of sweetness and subtle nuttiness. It’s also the vinegar used in Chez Panisse’s house vinaigrette.
How to use: Banyuls vinegar's balanced sweet and savory flavor makes it out go-to for everything, from dressings and marinades to pan sauces and quick pickles.
Volpaia Red Wine Vinegar—made with Sangiovese and Cannaiolo, grapes traditionally used in making Chianti Classico wine—is aged for close to 18 months in oak barrels. The resulting vinegar is bold, full-bodied and tangy with notes of fresh grapes, oak and berries.
How to use: Make braised greens pop or add zip to herb-based sauces, like our recipe for Carrot Top Chimichurri.
Unlike most fruit vinegars, which are made by infusing wine vinegar with fruit flavors, Pojer e Sandri's vinegars are made solely from fruit grown on their estate and the neighboring farmers' orchards in the Trento region of Northern Italy.
To make their Blackcurrant Fruit Vinegar, Pojer e Sandri gently presses blackberries, then ferments and ages the juice in oak barrels for 18 to 24 months. The resulting vinegar is packed with fresh-picked fruit flavor, intense and tart with a lingering sweetness.
How to use: This fruity, zingy vinegar enriches a pan sauce for seared duck breasts, pork chops or roasted pork tenderloin. Or, use like a shrub, by adding a splash to sparkling water or cocktail to make a refreshing drink.
Spanish sparkling winemaker Agustí Torelló Mata uses their world-renowned cava (Spain’s answer to Champagne) to make this crisp Dry Cava Vinegar, featuring notes of apricot, peach and nectarine and hints of vanilla. Barrel-aged for 18 months, this cava vinegar is smooth with just a touch of sweet fruit.
How to use: Use in any vinaigrette, quick-pickle recipe, or as the base of mignonette for fresh oysters.
Fifth generation Japanese brewer Iio Jozo in Kyoto has been crafting rice and fruit vinegars in the traditional way for almost 125 years. To make their Pure Rice Vinegar, they start by making sake, using pesticide-free rice and spring water, then aging the fermented brew for eight months. Chefs and other food industry professionals, including cookbook author Fanny Singer, love this vinegar for its rich flavor, and softer, rounder finish. Iio Jozo Pure Rice Vinegar was named one of the 30 Best Vinegars by New York Magazine in 2021.
How to use: Whisk it with yuzu juice and shoyu for a simple ponzu dipping sauce, or add a splash to braised meats and stews before serving.