on September 07, 2013
at 05:16 PM
No. Balsamic vinegar is made by reducing grape juice (read: sugar, albeit a natural sugar) down to 30% of volume to form a must. The good stuff then gets fermented for years (usually 12) in a variety of wood barrels during which time the flavors and various other bioactive compounds form and develop. Because it takes so long to make, it can get expensive (several hundred dollars plus) per bottle, but you can find good bottles for less. Look for traditional balsamic vinegar, or Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. If you have an Italian specialty store near by you can definitely find it there.
Balsamic vinegar of Modena (the most common type found in grocery stores) is made using wine vinegar, caramel, and grape must. This type is technically aged, but very rarely for as long as twelve years. A couple months appears to be the minimum.
I prefer to get the good stuff Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, as it has no additives. I also find the taste superior especially if you're reducing it. Since you likely won't be having very much of it, it's worth getting the higher quality stuff and not worrying about the sugar content.