How to Choose Which Balsamic Vinegar to Buy

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Below you’ll find a guide to several of our balsamics with tips to help you pick the best one for your needs:
Vigna Bordo Balsamic Vinegar

Vigna Bordo
Every Day Upgrade         Cost: $
Made from Trebbiano & Lambrusco Grapes

Traditionally aged in wooden casks for approx. 4 years.
More natural, pure & delicious than most low-priced balsamics on the market
More bite than other aged balsamics
Best for marinades, salad dressings, sauces and other balsamic recipes that involve cooking or blending balsamic vinegar.

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Special Edition Balsamic Vinegar
Elegant Bottle, Good Flavor, Good Price         Cost: $
Made from Trebbiano, Sangiovese & Lambrusco Grapes

Striking bottle makes a great impression displayed in your kitchen or as a gift.
Better flavor & much more natural (no artificial ingredients or caramel) than most low-priced balsamics on the market
Grape must is cooked down more than our other balsamics prior to aging to speed up the process and keep the price lower.
Aged in wooden casks for 5-6 years.
Flavors are a bit more blunt than the older balsamics below – strong sweet flavor with strong tartness.
Use as you would conventional balsamic vinegars.

Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar

Oro Nero
Very Good – Great 1st Aged Balsamic for Beginners Cost: $
Made from Trebbiano, Sangiovese & Lambrusco Grapes

 Purer, with a more complex flavor, than many “condiment” grade balsamics.
Traditionally aged in wooden casks for 6-7 years.
Blends some vinegar bite with the rich, musky, sweet & complex notes only attainable with truly aged artisan balsamic.
Use as a finishing touch for steaks, eggs, fine cheeses, seafood, fruit & desserts.
Can also be used in lightly cooked applications like sauces & reductions.

Vigna Oro Balsamic Vinegar

Vigna Oro
Superb Flavor for the Price – Great 2nd Aged Balsamic (Intermediate Level)  Cost: $$
Made from Trebbiano & Lambrusco Grapes

Traditionally aged in wooden casks for approx. ten years.
Flavor is sweeter, richer & bolder than Oro Nero, with less bite.
Use as you would Affinato vinegar – as a finishing touch to just cooked dishes. Particularly good on roasted meats as well as fish, risotto and as a accenting touch to fine aged cheeses.
Do not subject Vigna Oro vinegar to heat, instead use it as a finishing ingredient.

Tradizionale Affinato Balsamic Vinegar

Affinato Balsamic Vinegar
Amongst the Finest Balsamics (Expert Level)   Cost: $$$

Traditionally cask-aged for a minimum of 12 years.
Flavor is even more complex & delightful.
Exceptionally pure – contains only the cooked must of Modena-grown grapes.
“Affinato” grade is the 2nd highest awarded to balsamic vinegars.
Use to finish just cooked dishes – roasted meats, fish, risotto or drizzle a bit on fine aged cheeses.
Do not subject affinato vinegar to heat, instead use it as a finishing ingredient.

Extra Vecchio Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Vecchio Balsamic Vinegar
Best of the Best (Master Level)     Cost: $$$$

Traditionally cask-aged for a minimum of 25 years.
Exceptionally pure – Contains only the cooked must of Modena-grown grapes.
“Extra Vecchio” grade is the highest awarded to balsamic vinegars.
Compagnia del Montale’s Extra Vecchio has one the Lambrusco Prize for world’s best balsamic twice (2003 & 2012).
Extra Vecchio vinegar is so incredible that it need not be added to anything to be enjoyed. It is sometimes drunk in small quantities as an aperitif or compliment to dessert.
Only a few drops of extra vecchio vinegar are needed to finish dishes.
Do not subject extra vecchio vinegar to heat, instead use it as a finishing ingredient.

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Read More About Balsamic Vinegar:

How Balsamic Vinegars are Made
Vinegar Recipe Collection

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