Goccia Nera Balsamic Vinegar of Modena - IGP Certified
Goccia Nera balsamic vinegar is an IGP certified barrel-aged vinegar that I use daily for vinaigrettes, glazes and marinades. Less expensive than premium balsamic vinegars like Goccia d'Oro, this is a great go-to option for casual dining when you need an Italian touch.
Sadly, many balsamic vinegars found in grocery stores and boutiques are hardly "authentic" and many contain additives or are simply mislabeled. I am both amused and disappointed to watch experienced chefs "reduce" balsamic vinegar under heat to achieve a more concentrated taste.
Authentic balsamic vinegar consists of barrel-aged wine must or “mosto cotto” to which is added wine vinegar. While TRADITIONAL balsamic vinegar consists EXCLUSIVELY of wine must and is quite expensive (between $100 and $400 for a 100 ml bottle). Given the price point of TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC (aged no less than 12 years), most commercial grade balsamic vinegars consist of a mixture of wine must and wine vinegar.
My husband and I were so disappointed with the selection of balsamic vinegars in the United States that we decided to find a reputable producer in Modena and seek approval from the Italian consortium to market IGP Balsamic Vinegar under our label. This "goccia nera" balsamic vinegar consists of percentage of wine must and wine vinegar.
Why Gourmet Living's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena?
- Goccia Nera Balsamic Vinegar of Modena certified by the Italian consortium and bottled in Italy.
- You too can "cook like an Italian." Goccia nera is great as a salad dressing and for glazes and marinades.
- Authentic barrel-aged balsamic vinegar is made from the wine must of Trebbiano grapes in Modena, Italy. Don't settle for less!
- Balsamic vinegar has been compared to "nectar of the Gods" and is the secret weapon of every home and restaurant chef.
- Gourmet Living's Goccia nera balsamic vinegar is a great gift for all occasions.
- Why not give your friends of bottle of authentic balsamic vinegar rather than a bottle of wine.
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.
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.
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. In general, the wine must will age for at least 4 years in the wooden barrels, but may be extracted during the aging process and combined with wine vinegar to produce a variety of balsamic vinegar products as described below.
Things You Should Know Before Buying Balsamic Vinegar
With so many choices, it is difficult to know which balsamic vinegar to buy. Sadly, most "cheap" and commercial brands of balsamic vinegar use additives or mostly wine vinegar rather than barrel-aged balsamic wine must. As a rule of thumb, if you are paying less that $5.00 an ounce, 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;
- Balsamic vinegars than have been "certified" by the Italian consortium carry very distinctive labels guaranteeing authenticity;
- Beware of any balsamic vinegar which lists an age such as "25 years old." This is contrary to current regulations.
- Gently tilt the bottle back and forth to determine viscosity. Genuine balsamic vinegar tends to be more syrupy.
- 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 the Gourmet Living website.