This superb vinegar made from AOC Pineau de Charentes (the famous and delicious local aperitif wine of the Cognac region) is aged for four years before acetification in old oak cognac barrels for a further four to five months. It has a sweet, mellow flavour and honeyed aroma. Try it with fish, rabbit or chicken and use when making mayonnaise or beurre blanc. Particularly good with seafood salads and sprinkled over avocados with a little olive oil.
We discovered the wonderful Fleuriet vinegars on a sourcing trip in France. Philippe and Francoise Fleuriet live in a charming old house in Rouillac deep in the heart of the 'Fins Bois' area, one of the six crus (delineated growth areas) of the Cognac region. The couple left their jobs in northern France 25 years ago to move to this quiet area. Their vinegar-making adventure began a decade ago when they accidentally created a vinegar mother out of Pineau de Charentes, the local aperitif made with wine fortified with a little cognac.
Their production is small, ageing four-year-old white or rose AOC Pineau de Charentes in old cognac barrels, each given names like 'Camille' and 'Pierre', in their vinaigrerie (vinegar cellar) next to the house. The vinegar then undergoes a slow, natural acetification for a further four or five months before bottling, unfiltered and without preservatives, or turning into a superb range of fruit flavoured vinegars. In their kitchen, they also use it to make small-batch additive-free confits, chutneys, jams and soups with home-grown seasonal heritage vegetables and fruits from their garden. Listed as one of top 100 French artisan producers by the prestigious College Culinaire de France - one of the best culinary institutes in the country founded by chefs like Alain Ducasse, Paul Bocuse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy who all use their vinegar in their restaurants.
Produced by: Fleuriet
White wine vinegar
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