I often say that authentic balsamic vinegar and the "balsamic vinegar" that you can find in the US should not share the same name.
This is because most of the balsamic vinegar that can be found is flavored wine vinegar meant to imitate the real thing.
Authentic balsamic vinegar is made from a process passed down through years of traditions.
It begins with grapes harvested in specific regions of Italy. Grapes are pressed and cooked to create what is known as must. The must is then aged in various wood barrels to create a complex and balanced flavor.
The finer details this process are a secret known only by the families who make the product and have passed it down over generations.
Authentic balsamic vinegar has a sweetness and complexity in its flavor that truly cannot be replicated with industrialized methods.
The sweetness does not taste artificial but is naturally present in a way that provides balances to the acidity. The acidity is still present and acts in tandem with the other flavors to deliver the best experience.
The taste is so smooth that one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is with a tasting spoon.