Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI

The symbol of Modena with an ancient history

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI represents the cultural and gastronomic heritage of Modena, the Land of Balsamic Vinegar. This product embodies a thousand-year history, interwoven with passion, craftsmanship and dedication to perfection.

Its origins have their roots in ancient traditions: already during Roman times, it was customary to cook grape must in order to preserve it and use it in culinary preparations. However, it was in the Middle Ages that such a ‘very perfect vinegar’ first appeared. In 1747, the term ‘Aceto Balsamico’ appeared in the cellar records of the Este dukes, lords of Modena, while in 1830, Count Giorgio Gallesio of Modena described the different types of Balsamic vinegar produced in Modena.

Today, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is renowned and appreciated all over the world, firmly maintaining its historical and cultural identity anchored to the territory. This link with Modena has been officially recognised by the European Union, which has registered Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in the list of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products.

The basic raw material for its production is grape must which is cooked or concentrated, and skilfully blended with wine vinegar, in line with production specifications and recipes handed down through the ages. The cooked must lends sweetness, complexity and structure to the finished product, while the wine vinegar adds aromatic notes and freshness, creating the typical sweet-and-sour taste that characterises Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The periods of refinement and ageing, in vats and wooden barrels, together with the recipes jealously guarded by the producers, make it possible to obtain a wide variety of products, satisfying both top chefs and those who use it daily as their favourite condiment.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and its organoleptic characteristics

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (BVM) is produced in a wide range of types with differing sensory and analytical characteristics. In fact, under the same designation we find products with different tastes, aromas, textures and densities: from the more ‘sour’ and decisive to the sweet and soft, from the light and flowing to the rich and creamy.

Faced with this wide choice, it is not always easy to pinpoint the product we prefer, i.e. the one that corresponds to our own personal taste and the ways we intend to use it. This is why the Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has created the Consortium Profile, a collective mark which, based on a five-level segmentation of the vast range of available products, contains the organoleptic indications necessary for the consumer to identify his or her favourite product.

The first five levels identified for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI, are joined by two more for the ‘aged’ product, making a total of seven levels.
Passing from a product with one seal to a product with five seals, the characteristics change from a tactile, olfactory and gustatory point of view: from a light-bodied, sharp and pungent product, in which acidity and freshness prevail and the olfactory spectrum is limited to acetic and citrus scents, to products with a full, rounded body and a strong structure that is velvety and creamy to the touch, soft, sweet and intense on the palate, and presents a complexity enriched by hints of sweet spices, roasting, dark fruit jam, dried fruit and sandalwood to the nose.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 1 seal

Main characteristics: high tactile smoothness in relation to a liquid body, balance tending towards acidity on the taste level and towards fruitiness on the aromatic level.

Ideal use: a dressing with significant freshness and acidity accompanied by a light body and structure, perfect for vinaigrettes, marinades and sauces.

GP_Aceto 1

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 2 seals

Main characteristics: its fresh acidic taste profile is still prevalent, but with a greater perception of body and sweetness. Still rather pungent, on an aromatic level its fruitiness prevails but the presence of cooked must is easier to perceive.

Ideal use: excellent as a condiment, in this case more structured and with a less aggressive after taste.

GP_Aceto 2

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 3 seals
Main characteristics: the density begins to be visible to the naked eye, with greater resistance to swirling in the tasting glass, and with olfactory and gustatory perceptions balanced between acidic and sweet. In terms of aroma too, both the fruitiness and the cooked must are perceivable at similar levels. Already a more complex product in terms of aroma and structure.

Ideal use: also for use in cooking to create richer sauces and with a rounder profile for dressings and vinaigrettes.

GP_Aceto 3

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 4 seals

Main characteristics: on a tactile level, the density is more perceptible with the sweetness prevailing over the acidity and limiting its pungency. While, on an aromatic level, the cooked must combined with spicy notes prevails over the fruity notes. As the complexity increases, so do the recommended uses.

Ideal uses: as a cold dressing and accompaniment for risottos, fish, white or red meat, as well as ice cream and strawberries.

GP_Aceto 4

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 4 seals AGED

Main characteristics: on a tactile level, the density is consistent as is the overall sensation of rotundity; the taste is complex and balanced with sweetness prevailing over sourness and pungency in the background. On the aromatic level, the direct olfactory and retro-olfactory sensations present sweet spicy tones and light roasted notes together with hints of ripe fruit, black fruit compote and cooked must. The range of possible uses is broadened.

Ideal uses: pumpkin or chestnut tortelloni, grilled beef fillet, pairings with omelettes or egg dishes.

GP_Aceto 4 invecchiato

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 5 seals

Main characteristics: the density increases considerably, reaching high levels and is manifested by the long persistence after swirling in the tasting glass. On the palate, it reveals a pungency that is barely perceptible, a remarkable sweetness that prevails over the acidity, and an exceptionally round and full body. On the aromatic level we have a clear predominance of spices and cooked must over fruitiness. The taste perceptions of sweetness with high density, linked to an aromatic profile characterised by hints of roasting and spices, suggest different types of pairings.

Ideal use: with mature and herb-scented cheeses or stringy cheeses and cured meats, or with ice cream, preferably in the flavours cream, hazelnut and pistachio, and with egg-based or chocolate desserts

GP_Aceto 5

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI 5 seals AGED

Main characteristics: the density and weight of the product is even more perceivable as is the sensation of softness and velvety smoothness; great complexity and persistence and an lopsided balance of softness and enveloping sweetness. The pungency has almost disappeared, absorbed by the sensation of richness and fullness of flavour. On the olfactory and mouth aroma level, roasting, hints of chocolate and coffee, hints of aromatic woods and sweet spices are the protagonists, leaving the fruitiness of dark fruit jams, figs and the typical hint of cooked must in the background.

Ideal use: this complexity enriched and changed in tone by the years of barrique ageing offers a product for meditating that can also be enjoyed as a digestive aid, or to enrich everyday gourmet desserts.

GP_Aceto invecchiato