The foods you’ll eat without much preparation are the ones to splurge on. Or—let’s put it another way—if you splurge on certain ingredients, they’ll taste so good on their own you don’t need to prepare them. Gourmet balsamic vinegar can be drizzled right onto bread, cheese, salads, pasta, chocolate cake—you get the idea.
True balsamic vinegars from Italy are recognized as the world’s finest, in part because they are produced from some of the best traditional grapes from the Modena region, and in part because such great care is taken in monitoring the aging process. The end result is the best-tasting vinegar in the world.
Check The Region
The first thing to check on a fine balsamic vinegar is that it was made in Italy, preferably from the Modena region where the best grapes for vinegar production are grown.
How Long Was It Aged?
The aging process is crucial to the ultimate flavor and maturity exhibited by any balsamic vinegar, so ideally you should look for a vinegar which has spent at least several years in aging barrels, so as to achieve a full and appealing flavor.
Is It Certified?
For purists, it is comforting to know that a particular balsamic vinegar was monitored during the aging process and evaluated by the professional body of balsamic vinegar experts known as the Consortium in Modena. This watchdog group ensures that only the finest balsamic vinegars receive their seal of approval, and when you see this endorsement on a bottle, it’s a guarantee of the highest possible quality of balsamic vinegar.
The Best Balsamic Vinegar On Amazon
Due Vittorie Oro Gold Balsamic Vinegar
Estimated Price: $25 For A 250ml (8.5 oz.) Bottle
One of Italy’s best-loved balsamic vinegars, Due Vittorie Oro Balsamic spends a long time in the aging barrel to absorb the essence of the wood, after which it undergoes rigorous laboratory testing to ensure consistent high quality.
It has a full-bodied sweetness, with just the right consistency, and it leaves a delicious flavor in the mouth of wild black cherry after consumption.
One reviewer mentions that this balsamic vinegar features a perfect sweet flavor with a syrupy consistency that works well with salads and as a base for sauces.
Gourmet Living Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Estimated Price: $35 For A 250ml Bottle
This is genuine balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, made from barrel-aged Italian wine to give it a full-flavored taste that livens up everything you cook.
Sweeter and denser than most other commercial balsamic vinegars, Gourmet Living Balsamic has a higher concentration of wine and wine vinegar to impartthat special quality beloved by its fans.
Mussini 14-Year Balsamic Vinegar
Estimated Price: $50 For A 100ml Bottle
Aged for more than 14 years before distribution, Mussini 14-Year Reserve Balsamic Vinegar comes directly from Modena, Italy, and is one of the most versatile flavorings available.
It can be used as an accompaniment for salads, as a cooking oil for meat, fish, vegetables, and even with cheese.
Mussini has become very popular because of the fine lambrusco and trebbiano grapes used in its production.
One Amazon reviewer mentions that this balsamic vinegar goes surprisingly well with ice cream!
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Traditional
Estimated Price: $170 For A 100ml Bottle
Endowed with the maximum possible score of the Consortium of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Growers of Modena, 25-Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar of Modena this classic among balsamics is aged a minimum of 25 years before sale, and is absolutely delicious served on any kind of food you might serve.
It’s also extremely healthy for you, being low in calories and loaded with anti-oxidants.
Campari Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Estimated Price: $65 For A 250ml Bottle
Made from Modena’s fine trebbiano grapes, Campari 15 Year Balsamic Vinegar is aged in oak barrels, where it takes on additional flavor and maturity.
Periodically transferred to other barrel woods like juniper and cherry, those flavors are also then absorbed by the vinegar to create a truly distinctive product for cooking and salad-making.
It is known for its deep sapphire color and velvety, thick texture.
“Expensive, but worth it” is how one reviewer describes this balsamic vinegar.