Most store-bought vinegars are too harsh for salad dressing and many other recipes.
A good wine vinegar ought to contribute sweet/fruity qualities to our cooking on top of acidity. But high-quality wine vinegars must be made with high-quality wine, which creates a dilemma. Acetic acid is an off-flavor in wine, and wineries that also make vinegar run the risk of contaminating their barrels with the bacteria that converts alcohol to acetic acid, making such producers extremely rare. Thankfully, we have found a Spanish producer Vinagres de Yema, who makes bright, complex vinegars using some of the best grapes in the country—including Cepa Vieja, a sherry vinegar made with palomino grapes sourced from Spain’s Andalusia region.