To understand the differences between types of balsamic vinegar, check out our Balsamic 101. Each has its own character and preferencial pairings.
Clear: unaged, light, and fresh
- White balsamic condiments have a delicate taste. Made with concentrated grape must and the same wine vinegars as other balsamics, they are not aged and the grape must is filtered so they retain their clarity.
- Pairings: They are excellent with fish and white meat. Ideal for marinades and salads where you don’t want a darkening colour.
Essential: young, fruity, and tangy
- These young vinegars undergo a short aging process. Since the ration of wine vinegar to grape must is higher, they are less concentrated, have a higher acidity, and tang.
- Pairings: They are perfect for everyday use, especially with salads, meats, and warm pan sauces.
Indulgent: aged, generous, and balanced
- A longer aging process and a higher concentratioin of grape must give these balsamic vinegars a perfectly balanced taste with both acidic and sweet notes.
- Pairings: Equally well suited to everyday cooking and gourmet dishes, they are delicious paired with grilled meat or fish, steamed or grilled vegetables, in salads, or drizzled as a garnish on fresh tomatoes and ice cream.
Divine: extra aged, sense, and sweet
- Created from the finest slections of grape must and wine vinegar, they are very similar to traditional balsamic vinegars in density and taste, but more complex.
- Pairings: They are perfect for gourmet cooking and are simply exquisite with fruit, ice cream, or cheese. Try drizzling a few drops over parmesan. They are unctious enough to savour on their own at the end of a meal like and aperitif.
Traditional: a moment of grace
- Incomparable to balsamic vinegar, these aceto balsamico tradizionale are made exclusively from grape must. Aged in barrels for a least 12 years, they are covered by a protected designation of origin (PDO). Production is limited and complex, requiriing exceptional expertise. This explains their very high price, up to $1,000 per litre.
- Pairings: They are sublime with red meat, seafood, parmesan, red fruits, and sorbets. A few drops will do.
Written with background information from Favuzzi Olive OIl & Fine Foods in Montreal.