How it's made: Our Traditional Aceto Balsamico is made using an age-old method and ingredients. Grapes are handpicked, crushed, and cooked over an open flame into grape-must, and then aged in a series of wooden barrels.
Barreling and aging: The process of aging balsamico is much more complex than that of wine. It is aged in a series of wooden barrels called a "batteria", which decrease in size from 75 to 10 liters. Each year, about 20% of the product evaporates, making the product increasingly dense. Once a year, the most-aged product is removed from the smallest barrel for bottling. This barrel is then filled up with aceto from the second-smallest barrel. The second-smallest is filled with aceto from the third. In this way, the balsamico spends one year in each barrel, and mixes with the aceto that lingers from the year before.
Taste: The flavors come from many different points in the journey: the grapes, the cooking process, the wooden barrels, and even the culture in the each barrel, which slowly converts the fruit sugars into vinegar. This Aceto Balsamico is dark, and as thick as maple syrup, and exhibits flavors of dates, smoke, wood and a touch of acidity to create a complexity that lasts.
DOP production: This strictly controlled designation is reserved for the highest quality balsamicos that have aged for at least 12 years, and have gone through a lengthy certification process. Our Aceto Balsamico is part of this production, but removed at 6 years. It has the same grapes, same barrels, and same Master Acetoio monitoring the production.
Uses: Drizzle onto Parmesan cheese, or over gorgonzola and walnuts. Dot fresh pastas, ravioli, or a creamy mushroom-parmesan risotto. Put a small amount on grilled meats or roasted butternut squash. Drizzle onto panna cotta or gelato. Sometimes, we sneak it by the spoonful simply by itself.
The bottle and package: The bottle is 100mL or 3.8 oz. It comes packaged in a brown cardboard box to resist damage during shipment. It also has a small pouring spout insert so that none of the product is wasted.