Everybody instinctively knows what to seek for in a good wine or oil. But what about vinegar? Are we sure we know what we, the consumers, should look out for?
Skilled and serious work on the source material, and not luck, is behind a bottle of good vinegar. Its quality is not only defined through chemical analyses. Professional tasters too have their say. In fact, sensory analyses are of fundamental importance, because a trained mouth can immediately perceive the pleasant sensations given by top grade vinegar.
So, what should a keen gourmet look out for in vinegar? The answer lies in these three key elements: harmony, body and fragrance.
Harmony describes the overall sensation of pleasantness arising from a critical analysis of the flavours, together with the tactile and olfactory stimuli; all we perceive through our senses should be perfectly balanced, giving rise to a cohesive whole.
This term describes the tactile sensations in the mouth, which result from the combined density, viscosity and consistency of the vinegar. A good product should possess a certain body or, in other words, should not be structurally weak.
This term describes the sense of freshness and delicacy perceived by the nose.
Picture by Acetaia Cremonini