Is There Champagne in Champagne Vinegar, Or is it Just Clever Marketing?
The Short Answer
Champagne is NOT used in the creation of Champagne vinegar.
The Long Answer
We’ve discussed vinegar before in my entry about whether red wine vinegar is actually made from red wine. We discovered there that yes, it is. So, it would stand to reason that Champagne vinegar is made using Champagne, right?
The name Champagne vinegar is actually a clever marketing ploy. Champagne vinegar is made from the same grapes used to make Champagne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Champagne vinegar is produced in the Champagne region of France, and is actually a dry white wine vinegar.
When wine is soured, its sugar turns into acetic acid. This is what gives vinegar its signature biting flavor. When wine is created, bacteria ferments sugar. Through a second fermenting process, bacteria actually feeds on the wine’s alcohol, using it up until there’s practically none left. Usual levels of remaining ethanol in vinegar come in at under 2%. This process occurs naturally and takes up to 100 hours.
The word vinegar actually comes from the French word “Vinaigre”, which means sour wine. It was discovered over 7,000 years ago, when people noticed that a soured cask of wine produced an entirely new product. This led to the creation of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.