White Wine Vinegar

This milder vinegar is made by fermenting a blend of white wines. It can be used interchangeably with red wine vinegar in recipes (when you desire a more subtle flavor)—or use a splash in place of heavy cream or butter to balance flavors without adding fat.

Good for: rich sauces and vinaigrettes; brings out the sweetness of fruits like melon and berries; adds a flavorful twist to fresh salsa

Apple Cider Vinegar

Made from pressed, fermented apple juice, apple cider vinegar adds a tart and subtly fruity flavor to your cooking. It is also known to have medicinal properties, including soothing a sore throat and eliminating stomach trouble.

Good for: salad dressings, homemade condiments such as barbecue sauce, as a finish to soups

Rice Vinegar

Most commonly produced in China and Japan from rice wine that’s allowed to ferment, rice vinegar has a lighter, sweeter taste than wine vinegars. It is widely used in a variety of Asian dishes.

Good for: Asian salad dressings and stir-fries; dash over fruits and vegetables to liven up flavor

Red Wine Vinegar

Made from red wine that is allowed to ferment until it turns sour, this vinegar is a go-to for vinaigrettes. Its sharp taste also provides a punch of flavor; add a few teaspoons to a pot of soup at the very end of cooking for some extra zip.

Good for: vinaigrettes, salad dressings, meat marinades, pickling, soups

Balsamic Vinegar

Traditionally made in Italy from grape “must”—whole, pressed grapes, complete with juice, skin, seeds and stems—balsamic vinegar is cooked to a reduction, fermented and aged in wood barrels. This dark-brown vinegar has a balance of sweet and tangy flavors, making it a nice finishing touch for many dishes. 

Good for: salad dressings and marinades; as a condiment for drizzling on savory recipes, meats, and fruits like strawberries and melons

Basic Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Dressing
Author: The Vinegar Institute
Serves: 1 cup
This recipe comes courtesy of the Vinegar Institute.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup wine vinegar (red or white)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup oil (olive, canola or safflower)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until salt is dissolved. Add the oil by droplets, whisking until emulsified. If emulsion breaks, rewhisk before using. For more flavor, add fresh or dried herbs or minced fresh garlic.