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Difference Between Wine and Vinegar

Wine vs Vinegar

Wine and vinegar are two very distinct liquids that undergo fermentation. Wine is an alcoholic beverage made for drinking while vinegar is often a condiment that is not meant for immediate drinking but as an add-on to salads, sauces and certain food preparations.

Vinegar is acidic by nature that is harnessed from fermenting ethanol. The key ingredient that results from this process is called ethanoic acid or more popularly known as acetic acid. For the very common table vinegar, the acid content is usually ranging from 4 to 8 percent per unit volume although there can be some stronger variations especially the vinegars used for pickling.

The confusion sets in because vinegar can be obtained from other alcoholic drinks like wine, fruit juices (fermented) and beer. Hence, there are terms like wine vinegars that are very common throughout central Europe. Because of the myriad of possibilities on the actual ethanoic acid source for the vinegar, there are now lots of vinegar variations. The most common of which are: malt, wine, fruit, rice, coconut, cane, raisin and beer vinegars.

Another trick is that some nations treat their own vinegar variations as a separate class of wine. For example, in the Philippines they have the so-called palm vinegar known as ‘tuba’ which can either be used as vinegar or as a stand alone alcoholic beverage. Fermented from the sap of the palm tree, this drink can become vinegar once the fermentation process has been lengthened. This is probably one of the reasons why the definitions of the terms vinegar and wine are thinning.

In terms of their actual uses, vinegars are used in many food preparations like in vinaigrettes, chutneys and marinades. But most often, vinegar is used either as a condiment or as a separate sauce in itself.

Conversely, most wines are harnessed from fermented grape juice. The fermentation process is initiated by yeasts. Different grape varieties and varied yeast strains pave the way to the diversity of wines available today. With regard to history, wines are older because they have been identified to be around since 6,000 BC while vinegars surface several millennia later around 3,000 BC. Especially in Europe, wines have been seen as a necessary add-on to meat dishes, cakes and even some desserts.

1. Although possible, drinking pure vinegar is rarer than drinking wine.

2. Wine is often treated as a social alcoholic drink while vinegar is a component for sauces or used as a readily available condiment.

3. Wine is an older alcoholic product compared to vinegar.

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t think the usage of the word harnessed is correct and confused me. I think you might be thinking of harvested?

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