News of 24.04.24

How to taste a Balsamic: the tips of a true taster


With its rich history and complex flavours, Balsamic is a condiment now found in all kitchens around the world. But have you ever wondered how to truly appreciate its nuances and taste it like an expert taster? In this short guide we will take you through the steps allowing you to elevate your balsamic tasting experience. From choosing the right product to the unique taste of each variety, prepare to embark on a journey of sensory delight.

Understand Balsamico

Before immersing ourselves in the tasting process it is essential to understand the main features of Balsamic. Unlike normal vinegar, typically obtained from the fermentation of alcohol, balsamic vinegar originates in Italy and is made from cooked grape juice (must). It then undergoes a meticulous aging process in wooden barrels: this is the fundamental step that will give Balsamic its complex flavour profile that we all love, which goes from sweet and fruity to pungent and acidic.

Choose a Balsamic of Quality

The secret to a successful Balsamic tasting experience lies in choosing a high-quality bottle. Avoid imitation products, even if you will spend a bit more money, and make sure it is a Balsamic made with the traditional method. To do so, look at the label for the precise terms "Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP" or "Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP" which indicate compliance with rigorous production standards.

Get ready for the Tasting

Creating the right environment is essential to fully appreciate the aromatic nuances of Balsamic. Choose a clean, well-lit space, free of strong odours or distractions. For an authentic experience, proceed as per tradition: use a ceramic spoon to avoid altering the taste with ferrous sensations unrelated to the product created by the imperceptible corrosion due to acidity, or placing a few drops of Balsamic Vinegar on the back of your hand. Correct tasting allows you to appreciate the different aromas and scents of Balsamic, thus highlighting the uniqueness of each bottle even to the less experienced palate.

Involve all senses

Tasting Balsamic Vinegar is a multi-sensory experience. Start by looking at its appearance, noting its hue and viscosity. A quality Balsamic will have a deep, rich colour with various shades if observed against the light, and a slightly syrupy texture. Then bring the glass to your nose and inhale deeply: pay attention to the aroma which may contain nuances of fruit and wood. An excellent product will have a complex bouquet that evolves as you continue to inhale.

Now it's time to taste the Balsamic. Using the ceramic spoon or the back of your hand, scoop out a small amount and let it coat the roof of your mouth. Take time and pay attention to taste and texture: sweetness and acidity balance each other, while layers of flavor reveal themselves with every sip. Discover fruity notes, such as cherry or fig, and more complex flavors such as the hint of vanilla. A quality Balsamic will have a pleasant acidity that improves its overall balance and will leave a satisfying and persistent aftertaste that lingers on the palate.

Ready to experiment!

All bottles of Balsamic are different. Each offers a unique aroma and flavor experience, influenced by factors such as grape varieties, aging techniques and the types of barrels used. Don't be afraid to try and experiment with different products. Find out which Balsamic is more suitable to the palate for your hot dishes and which one is ideal to dress salads or to glaze meat.

Test with new dishes and be amazed by the infinite pairing options made possible by the unique flavour of this condiment. In fact, Balsamic gives depth and complexity to a vast range of culinary creations: don't put limits on your imagination!

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