Behind every Balsamic Vinegar tasting is a true sensory journey
Italy has to offer the world a plurality of products renowned for their characteristics. Take Modena vinegar, for example. More precisely, Aceto Balsamico di Modena DOP is a distinctive product, not easily substitutable with similar products, because it is made by combining passion, tradition and the mastery of producers who hand down their secrets from generation to generation. Precisely for this reason, taking a vinegar tasting could be a truly unique experience, capable of involving all the senses.
How do you taste vinegar?
The tasting of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena should be done preferably in the morning, as the palate, unlike at different times of the day, is ready to welcome new flavours and this allows you to fully grasp all the nuances of the vinegar. It should also be pointed out that it should never be drunk as one would with a liqueur for example, but should be swirled around in small sips on the palate as one does with wine. Before tasting it, however, it is necessary to observe it well, in order to check whether it is clear, bright, has a particularly intense colour and its density. In fact, the denser the vinegar is bodied, the greater its yield in more sophisticated recipes, e.g. on juicy meat.
A more liquid product, on the other hand, is better suited to seasoning simple dishes such as salads. However, contrary to what one might think, density is not always synonymous with ageing: things do not necessarily go hand in hand, and a dense vinegar can also be younger than a more liquid one. Finally, an olfactory analysis is carried out to identify the different scents. Typically, a vinegar that is more syrupy will have grape flavours and aromas; a younger vinegar will have a cooked smell and an older one will allow the woody and fruity scents to be perceived.
Guided tours of the vinegar cellar
For vinegar tasting, it is possible to organise a guided tour of the vinegar cellar, which follows a route that starts in the vineyard and ends with a tasting of the black gold:
- Walk through the vineyards: you start the route by observing and touching the vines from which the vinegar is made, in this way you can immerse yourself in the entire vinegar production process.
- Visit to the rooms: The vinegar cellars have several rooms for the production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO (usually in the attic of the vinegar cellars) and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI. In these rooms, walking among the various wooden barrels that store the precious condiment, it is possible to learn all the secrets of production.
- Tasting: At the end of the guided tour, we usually move on to tasting the product, following the producers’ advice, in order to savour it at its best. In addition, it is possible to learn the secrets of how best to combine it and make it the protagonist of a variety of dishes.
- Purchasing the product: After getting to know the product, it is possible to buy the different types of vinegars, selected by the producers and recommended according to the pairings one intends to prepare, directly from the vinegar cellar.