Characteristics of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena vs. wine vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena differs from wine vinegar in the balanced composition of its constituent elements. Its physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics are combined in a unique way; in addition, because of the blending of grape must with wine vinegar, it has a higher content of extractive substances and volatile compounds. This is why there must be a careful choice of the grapes that give Balsamic Vinegar of Modena its unmistakable aroma. PGI specifications require that the cooked or concentrated grape must shall come from only seven varietals, all typical of the Modena and Reggio Emilia area: Lambrusco, Trebbiano, Sangiovese, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana, and Montuni.
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena designation is reserved for vinegars with the following characteristics:
- clear and brilliant appearance
- brown and intense color
- bitter-sweet and balanced flavor
- slightly acetic and delicate aroma with woody overtones
Classification according to aging
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena marketed with the above characteristics can be further distinguished into two types, based on the ageing period. It is simply called Balsamic Vinegar of Modena when the aging period is less than three years (with a minimum of 60 days). When, on the other hand, the aging period is longer than three years, the designation Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Aged is used.
One set of specifications, different vinegars
Because of the different production processes and ingredients used, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is sold with characteristics that can vary greatly. If Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has been aged for more than three years, it results in an excellent condiment for cooked vegetables and meats.