Pedro Ximénez Dry and Sweet Vinegars from Spain are a step above ordinary sherry vinegar. It all begins with award-winning dry and sweet wines of Montilla from Bodegas Alvear, the oldest winery in Andalucía. These are made exclusively with the Pedro Ximénez grape, giving the wine—and thus the vinegars—tremendous depth of flavor.
The dry fino-style base is derived from freshly harvested PX grapes that are vinified under the velo de flor (a unique yeast indigenous to the soil in Montilla, which produces a dry nutty flavors), before undergoing 10 years of fermentation and aging in the exacting solera system, where the wine is slowly blended cask to cask and developed into a versatile vinegar. Special care in both winemaking and barrel aging makes for quality and flavor unlike any other sherry-style vinegar.
Pedro Ximénez Dry Vinegar has a nuanced, woody nose that gives way to full-bodied flavor with hints of roasted nuts, caramel, and prunes, and a fresh, lively acidity (6%). Finish a lentil soup or gazpacho. Sprinkle over roasted root vegetables and blistered pimientos de padron. Make a glaze for grilled pork spareribs. Brighten winter squash purée.
Florence Fabricant of The New York Times writes, "Alvear from Cordoba in Andalusia makes both sweet and dry Pedro Ximenez vinegars; the complex dry one is my preference, especially for a vinaigrette."
Our friend Kitty, who sourced this vinegar, says: “Quality to price, there is nothing better than the Alvear PX Vinegars, sweet or dry. The thing I really like about them is their nuanced, elegant flavors, stemming from the high-quality wine and the fact that it's been aged 10 years. This makes for a lot of subtext flavors that monumentally effect the outcome of a dish.”