Balsamic Vinegar 101

Balsamic Vinegar 101

Why is Balsamic Vinegar so good but so expensive?! Good things take time my friends. And like wine, balsamic vinegar gets better with aging. Did you know our Balsamic Vinegars have been aged for a minimum of 12 years! Yes… TWELVE YEARS! 

Balsamic Vinegar is made in Modena or Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Lambrusco and Trebbiano grape can be used to make it - and they have designated regions just like wine! How is it made? First, they cook down grape must until it reaches a certain sugar concentration - minimum 30 brix. There are two main designations for the Balsamic - DOP and IGP (Italian wine drinkers should recognize these!) 

This is a very simplified explanation.... For Traditional method Balsamic from Modena DOP, the reduced grape must is allowed to go through the alcohol fermentation naturally to create wine. Then the wine is allowed to turn to vinegar. I can hear all the wine lovers gasping - but yes this is on purpose! Once the transformation from wine to vinegar is complete, they barrel it in oak and let it age, reducing the barrel size as it gets more and more concentrated. Remember, this whole process is a long and slow. Minimum three years but most age upwards of 12 years! The longer the aging, the more expensive they can get. Some can go upwards of $100 for a 100ml bottle! 

For Modena IGP, instead of letting the must ferment naturally, they can add up to 50% red wine vinegar (from only authorized grape varietals) to quicken the process. Then they barrel it and let it reduce.

Ok, so it tastes great, but is it healthy for you? YES!!! The main active compound in balsamic vinegar is acetic acid , which contains strains of probiotic bacteria. These probiotics don't just preserve food — they can also enable healthy digestion and improve gut health.

It helps with heartburn and chronic reflux! Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows back into the food pipe. Small amounts of vinegar can be used to reduce reflux and heartburn. 

If you’re into beautiful skin - and who isn’t?! The antimicrobial compounds and antioxidants in balsamic vinegar help to improve a person’s skin over time. Balsamic vinegar can be known to stain skin so it is not supposed to be directly to skin. Dermatologists have seen positive results in the long-term ingestion of balsamic vinegar.

So go ahead, get the big bottle! You”re doing your body a favor - and your tastebuds! 

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