25 Year Old 'Extra Vecchio' Traditional Balsamic
There is a saying in Modena, “He who starts the vinegar will not taste the vinegar, but his children and children’s children will.” This stands as testament to the time and care that goes into making Balsamic the traditional way. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is a distinct product controlled under the EU law of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), a set of legislation that guarantees not just where products are made, but exactly how, to the letter. It is made in attics in Modena, taking up to 25 years to pass through a series of barrels of progressively smaller size (known as a battery). To taste 25 year old balsamic is to be blown away. It has a very distinctive, Christmas cake-esque finish, in beautiful contrast to the initial, warm red wine feel.
Italian families consume Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale quite literally, by the drop. The classic example is at a wedding, breaking open a new parmesan and serving your guests fresh chunks of cheese with a drop or two of the finest balsamic. .