Balsamic Vinegar Question

WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8aNovember 9, 2012

I have tried a few balsamic vinegars and not been pleased with the flavor of any of them. Of course, I did not spend a fortune on them either. However, with Thanksgiving upcoming, I plan on making a cranberry sauce with ruby port wine and balsamic vinegar; so thought I would try to purchase a decent balsamic.

Would some of you recommend a brand that you thought had a good flavor, please. But please don't recommend those bottles than cost $100+ dollars. I just can't afford that kind of money.

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I like the vinegars found at the Olive Tap....among others.
Their cherry bordeaux would be wonderful in a cranberry sauce.
And I am inlove with the tangerine vinegar too.

Here is a link that might be useful: The olive tap.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:26PM
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You might want to consider pomegranate vinegar instead. It is thick and syrupy like the more expensive Balsamics but for a much smaller price.

You can get very good Balsamic vinegars in the $30-$40 range if you go to a restaurant supply store, where you will get what you pay for; i.e., the quality goes up with the price, from my experience, but I never pay more than $60 for one bottle, and those would cost twice as much at a different store. Here is one for $15.25 (plus shipping) that looks good and would not break the bank. You could spend $15 on pomegranate vinegar.


Here is a link that might be useful: Gourmet Food Store, balsamic vinegars

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:55PM
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I have two balsamics, one from Costco which cost around $15 for a liter. The second is from Trader Joes at about half that. I use the TJ one in cooking, the Costco one for finishing.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:58PM
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I'll also suggest Trader Joe's.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Nadia G's cooking show recommends a balsamic vinegar that is a minimum 7 years old. DH did a taste test with some aged and unaged balsamic vinegar, and he did notice a difference. He likes balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a salad dressing so preferred the aged one. It had a less sharp, more rounded and fuller flavor. I think he got the aged one at Trader Joe's and it didn't cost $100, but was a lot more than the unaged one.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 5:40PM
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I like the white balsamic vinegar from Trader Joe's. I am far from an expert on dark bals vinegar but they seem sharper and more acidic.

White balsamic, to my taste buds, is light, thin, pure, and only mildly complex, fruity. Dark vinegar seems to have lots of flavor notes competing for the same space. The white balsamic vinegar is about $2, yup, 2 bucks. I like it a lot. It has it's own personality which comes thru loud and clear, not muddled.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

The only expensive balsamic I've had is Cavalli but I think it delicious. I savor every drop from the bottle and no comparison to everyday supermarket vinegar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cavalli

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 1:54AM
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I use two as well. For cooking, i use a cheap one but for the rest, a good one. Make sure it's not coloured with caramel and has "IGP" on the label so that you know you're buying the real thing.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:58AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Thanks to all of you. I will take all of your thoughts and recomendations into consideration.

Bumblebeez, how long does it usually take for an order to be delivered, please.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I would think regular shipping time depending on what shipping you choose as it is in stock.
I did look around on the web somewhat and WS has a highly rated 25 year barrel aged balsamic for 25. I haven't had it before, but it might be worth trying. The Cavalli is the only expensive vinegar I've had and it sold me.
My everyday balsamic is Colavita.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:17PM
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I had 2 bottles of WS exp;ensive long aged balsamic....think it was about $35 for 4 oz.....and it was musty tasting.
If you are spending serieous money on a vinegar....taste if first.

And again consider the use you want for cook in with some berries...the cheaper stuff is fine.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I always make sure the label says it's from Modena and that it has been aged.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:57PM
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The least expensive aged Balsamic that I currently have is RomanticA Gran Riserva, and I paid about $30, but the price has been reduced. I thought it was a bargain at $30, and I did taste it before buying it. It's very thick and sweet, and I generally serve it drizzled over apple or pear slices, but also sometimes with strawberries.

I also have a bottle of Fondo di Trebbiano that I paid $60 for recently and had bought before for $48. The price on this one keeps going up, it seems, but it is only slightly better than RomanticA, IMO, but it is definitely thicker and somewhat sweeter. When I run out, I will probably just replace it with RomanticA, but it depends on what there is available the Surfas Restaurant Supply, where I can taste before I buy.

Cavalli looks excellent as well. For the sauce you are making, I would not use a bottle that is cheaper than $15 - the cheaper ones have a harsher, less mellow flavor, and that comes through even in a berry sauce. I only use the cheaper ones in certain salad dressings where I want a sharp flavor. I like keeping a range on hand for different uses. I consider them a good investment.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:28PM
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