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Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena 12 Years
Gourmet Living

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena - 12 Years DOP Certified

Sale price $ 87.75 Regular price $ 97.50

balsamic vinegar with parmesan and strawberriesBarrel-aged traditional balsamic vinegar that has been aged 12 years.   Tested, bottled and labeled by the Italian growers association in distinctive 100 ml bottles.  100% wine must and no other additives or ingredients.

  Traditional balsamic vinegar consists of barrel-aged wine must or “mosto cotto” which has been aged for either 12 years ("affinato") or 25 years  Traditional balsamic vinegar consists entirely of wine must and is quite expensive (between $100 and $400 for a 100 ml bottle) depending on the age.   Most commercially sold balsamic vinegar is a mixture of wine vinegar and wine must.  

My husband and I were so disappointed with the selection of balsamic vinegar in the United States that we decided to find a reputable producer in Modena and seek approval from the Italian consortium to market Balsamic Vinegar under our label.  This 12 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar consists entirely of wine must and has been bottled and sealed by the Italian consortium with the distinctive red and yellow P.D.O. seal.

12 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

  • P.D.O. certified "Affinato" 12 year old Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced, aged and bottled in Italy.
  • You too can "cook like an Italian."  Just a few drops creates Chef-quality meals.
  • Barrel-aged balsamic vinegar made from the wine must of Trebbiano grapes in Modena Italy.
  • Balsamic vinegar has been compared to "nectar of the Gods" and is the secret weapon of every home and restaurant chef.
  • With its distinctive packaging, Gourmet Living's 12 year old "affinato" balsamic vinegar is a great gift for special occasions.  

About Balsamic Vinegar

Grapes from the wine-growing regions of Modena and Reggio Emiliano in Italy – generally the grape varieties of Trebbiano and Lambrusco – are pressed to extract their liquid.   After the seeds, grape peels and stalks are removed, the liquid is cooked over direct heat in an open container to achieve a concentrated liquid through evaporation.  In most cases, the the resulting concentrate is about 30% of the initial volume.  

balsamic vinegar aging in barrels

The resulting wine must or “mosto cotto” is then left to cool and rest producing a dark brown viscous syrup with a high sugar content. The cooled and rested wine must is then placed in a variety of wood barrels (oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry, juniper, etc.) to age.  As the wine vinegar matures and evaporation occurs, the concentrated wine must is then transferred to even smaller barrels to aid in the maturation and fermentation of the wine vinegar.    

balsamic vinegar in warehouse in Modena, Italy

During the aging process, the product goes through a series of profound changes with regards to the alcohols, aldehydes, sugars and organic acids contained in the wine must.  This produces a bouquet of delicate yet intense aromas and flavors.

Traditional balsamic vinegar will age for no less than 12 years in  a series of wooden barrels called a battery.  Wine must that has been carefully aged for that period, will be bottled and sealed by the Italian consortium in a distinctive 100 ml bottle with the red and yellow seal for authenticity. 

Things to Consider When Buying Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

As a rule of thumb, if you are paying less that $30.00 an ounce for traditional balsamic vinegar, you are probably not getting authentic balsamic vinegar from Italy.

Here are a few additional suggestions when shopping for balsamic vinegar:

  • Check ingredients to determine if there have been any additives;
  • Check the shape of the bottle as they are sold in only a 100 ml bottle;
  • Balsamic vinegars than have been "certified" by the Italian consortium carry the very distinctive red and yellow P.D.O. guaranteeing authenticity;
  • Beware of any traditional balsamic vinegar which lists an age such as "25 years old." This is contrary to current regulations.
  • Any bottle labeled "Traditional" balsamic vinegar should be 100% wine must and it costs between $30 and $100 an ounce.   Only fraudulent representations cost less.

Fore more information on Frequently Asked Questions about Balsamic Vinegar, visit our website.

How I Use Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

I tend to use Traditional only on special occasions.  Given its cost and distinctive flavor, I rarely would mix it with olive oil for a salad.  No, a few drops on Parmesan cheese, strawberries or even ice cream is heaven.  For those who need more inspiration, please consult our website for  recipes using balsamic vinegar.

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