At Zest For Taste we are delighted to offer an extensive range of Mussini Balsamic Vinegars, carefully produced by a small family firm in Modena. From thick, rich, aged vinegars to well balanced fruity glazes, we have delicious vinegars to suit every palate as well as every pocket.
Once you discover the glories of 25, 50 or even 100-year old balsamic vinegar, you will be hooked. Vintage vinegars are not to be sprinkled with abandon over lettuce or tomatoes, but instead a syrup elixir to use sparingly. Just a drop or two provides flavours that are rich, mellow, sweet, and full, our advice is go for the best you can afford. You won’t be using a bottle a night so you’ll find your reward in investment.The ancient art of making a sweet condiment from grape juice dates back centuries. Romans invented the art of making ’sapa,’ a mixture made from boiled down grape juice. Refined wood vinegars have been produced in Emilia Romagna since as early as the 11th century.
Modena is the birthplace of balsamic vinegar, and method of preparation did not undergo any significant changes for many centuries. The traditional raw material for balsamic vinegar had always been acetified must, which was then aged for even hundreds of years. This is the hallmark of a tradition which had been handed down from generation to generation.
In 1861 Mr. Aggazzotti, a lawyer, introduced a revolutionary production technique that used boiled grape must as the raw material instead of acetified musts. This is the method that has been used ever since to produce traditional balsamic vinegar.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the sets of vinegar-making casks were included in the dowry lists of the richest families in the lands ruled by the Este families, who used an exchange of vinegar to strengthen blood ties. So Balsamic Vinegar was always an extremely private product, exclusive to the leading families of Modena; its value and uniqueness meant that it might be presented as a gift or exchanged, but never bought and sold.
And it was for this reason that Mussini Guido grandfather, (in the centre of this picture dated 1931), famous founder of the Mussini’s family farm, decided to expand the family’s small vinegar-making capacity to enable him to make gifts of highly prized vinegar to his ever-increasing circle of friends and the best customers of his winery. Since he had decades of experience as a winemaker, it was quite natural to start from the very soul of wine, the quality musts which have always been the main ingredient of Mussini’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Today it is up to his 3 grand-nephews, to bring this ancient art of vinegar-making into the third millennium with the same care and dedication, to ensure the same excellent quality and good taste. The rooms are just a long, uninterrupted series of barrels of vinegar of different size and age. The various sets of different wooden barrels are the company’s only production equipment, and provide the ideal aging and refinement process for production of the very best Mussini’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
The must which forms the raw material is boiled down and then placed in barrels of different types of wood to undergo a very long aging process, which in all cases must be at least twelve years. This vinegar is really the jewel in the Mussini crown. As well as the usual oak, mulberry and chestnut wood barrels, an original taste is also created by also using barrels of cherry and juniper woods, which leave a delicious, unmistakable aroma.
After the necessary aging, the fermented musts, which have become vinegar through a completely natural process, are transformed into Mussini’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. However, before it can be exported and reach your table, the vinegar must undergo scrutiny by the Consortium’s master tasters, who will grade it as “White Seal” if it is gentle, delicate and with a good level of acidity, “Gold Seal”, the very highest accolade, granted only to extra-old vinegars aged in the barrel for at least twenty-five years.