Every year a lot of vinegars are produced in Spain making its export necessary. So the amount of vinegar annually sold out of the Spanish borders is close to thirty-two million liters. U.S. and the UK are the two main consumers of this product. But it?s quite surprising to know that in Spain vinegar is not consumed as much as it may seem, despite the Mediterranean diet.
Although vinegar is produced in most of the Spanish geography, there are only Appellations of Origin and Quality Assurance in two regions: Andalusia, for the first, and Aragon, for the latter.
From Andalusia we have the famous Sherry Vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez), which can only receive this Appellation if it is elaborated from must or wine with Denomination of Origin Jerez and Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda. Its production process necessarily includes the aging in barrels that can range from six months to two years depending on whether the final product will be a regular vinegar or reserve one.
The same goes for the vinegar with Designation of Origin Condado de Huelva, made from wines with the same designation of origin, as they also need some time in wood. Specifically from 6 months to 1 year, more than 1 year or more than 3 years, to produce three types of vinegars: Solera, Reserva and Añada respectively.
Also in Montilla-Moriles, vinegars are produced in this way which gives them some unique characteristics that make that good food lovers get something very special of this product. In this area we can find Crianza vinegars (more than 6 months in wood), Reserve vinegars (more than two years) and Gran Reserva vinegars (which have been aging in wood for more than five years).
Wine vinegar from Aragon region has been recognized since 1998 with the C of Quality (Calidad in Spanish, that's why the "C"), a mark of quality assurance that the regional government provides to a range of local produce.
If there is still someone who has not tried them all yet, can start buying vinegar online to embark on the adventure of food pairing, incorporating the different varieties of their favorite vinegars to their best recipes. For beginners here are two suggestions:
One of the best vinegars from Montilla-Moriles
Many Rioja cellars create their own vinegar. This Rioja Balsamic Vinegar is one of the bests