Jose Puig Chardonnay Vinegar

Made in sherry's back yard.

You don't see a lot of Chardonnay in Spain. Being a French grape it doesn't travel south of the border all that often, even though it's very prevalent in new world wines.

While I'm partial to wines and vinegars that are grown in the traditional home of their grapes, Joseph Puig (pronounced "Poozh") is crafting chardonnay vinegar that's so outstanding it beats much of what I've had from France or elsewhere. So, tradition, stand aside for a moment. Let's have some of this.

Puig starts with wine from his own vineyard in the village of El Vendral, an hour's drive south of Barcelona. He blends unfermented grape juice with some of the previous year's vinegar, leaving it to convert to vinegar naturally over six months. Oak and chestnut barrels continue the aging. Borrowing from the sherry vinegar process, each year only a little is taken from each barrel, which is then refilled with new vinegar. It is rare to see this kind of attention given to simple, delicious wine vinegars. It's too bad. You really can taste the difference.

With a sweet, subtly oaky flavor that is delicious everywhere, I use it to delglaze pans for fish or chicken, but it works well in any recipe that calls for a bit of white wine vinegar.

Jose Puig Chardonnay Vinegar

Jose Puig Chardonnay Vinegar
V-CHA 250 ml bottle

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