This is the vinegar about which legends have been woven. Savoring one is an experience to brag about. Buy one for a grand occasion. A golden anniversary. A wedding. A newborn. An election. Made from the must—freshly pressed juice—of Trebbiano grapes. The must is cooked down in open copper kettles to half its original volume, then put into wood to age for at least a dozen years.
But that's just the beginning. It's then taken out and tested by a panel of judges. The qualifiers are graded gold, then silver, then red (different than in neighboring Modena, where there are two grades, gold and white). Then they return to the wood for another five, ten, twenty, or a hundred years or more. During the aging process, the vinegar is shifted from one type of wood to the next. Cherry, chestnut, oak and mulberry all leave their imprint on the flavor of the vinegar.
The result is an almost unbelievable concentration of sweet-sour flavor in a dense, intense, brown-black vinegar that hints of berries, grapes, vanilla. There is nothing like it in the world. Only a tiny amount is released each year, in elegant glass flasks. Let loose a few drops on ripe strawberries fresh from the market. An amazing treat that you'll always remember.
Gold is the ultimate grade of Reggio Emilia's traditional balsamics. Aged for at least 25 years, it's incredibly smooth with the silky, slow texture of syrup. Sweet and incredibly complex, it's a vinegar to savor like the finest wine. Gift boxed.