When Giorgio opened the door, I smelled it right away: Aceto Balsamico, the world famous vinegar, also called "black gold" filled the air of the old villa in Modena.
The process of producing sounds simple: take 100 l of grape juice, cook it for 12 hours, put it in barrels and wait 25 years - you'll get 2 l Aceto.
Of course it's not that simple: the grapes have to be Trebbiano and Lambrusco from your vineyard (which has to be in Modena), only the first juice is allowed to take. You should have a big house with an big attic for the barrels (also in Modena) and you need the knowledge of 340 years of experience to produce, what the Duke of Este invented accidently and called "Balsamico" - they used it like a medicin for digestion.
When it came to the tasting, I was quite surprised about the wide spectrum: the taste of 12 years in a cherry barrel is so different from the one which fermented 25 years in an oak barrel, and so on. There is no way to mix it with olive oil and use it for a salad dressing like you would do with an industrial vinegar - a waste!
I like it best with strawberries or Parmiggiano, the 24 month old......