The 10 Best Balsamic Vinegars of 2020

The perfect balance of tart and sweet to complement any dish

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"Made in Italy and aged in oak barrels, this vinegar is the perfect blend of richness and acidity."
Read More
"Gran Deposito uses a traditional Italian process to create this aged balsamic vinegar."
Read More
"Crafted from red grapes in Greece!"
Read More
"The low acidity and subtle flavor make it an ideal option for dipping a warm crusty piece of bread."
Read More
"Great for salads or brushed onto chicken or ribs before you throw them on the grill."
Read More
"Coming in many flavor options, this balsamic vinegar is made with organic grapes and organic wine vinegar."
Read More
"Aged in six different types of wood barrels for at least 18 years for an extra sweetness."
Read More
"The thickened glaze, which is crafted in Italy, has just the right balance of tartness and sweetness."
Read More
"Price isn’t always synonymous with taste, and the Kitchen & Love Premium Balsamic Vinegar proves that."
Read More
"Includes four extremely versatile flavors that level up any dish, from fish to chicken to salad to ice cream."
Read More

Balsamic vinegar is made by reducing unfermented grape juice—officially called “grape must”—and then cooking it down and aging in wooden barrels to create a delicate flavor that expertly balances both sweet and sour. Traditionally, balsamic vinegar comes from Italy, and, as a general rule, vinegars that are produced in the Modena or Reggio Emilia regions are considered the highest quality. But some of these types of vinegars can get expensive. We’re talking $150 to 300 per bottle, with some rare varieties going up to $1,000. We know that most people don’t have that kind of cash to shell out on a bottle of balsamic vinegar, so while considering flavor, aroma, and viscosity, we narrowed it down to the best balsamic vinegars that taste great without the shocking price tag.

Best Overall: VSOP 25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar

The VSOP 25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar, a Williams-Sonoma exclusive, checked all of the necessary boxes, earning it the spot of best overall balsamic vinegar. Crafted from unfermented white Trebbiano grape juice and then aged in wooden oak barrels, this balsamic vinegar has a rich aroma and flavor with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness to finish off any meal (or dessert). It’s thick, viscous consistency is ideal for all applications from drizzling to dipping to sipping.

And with only one ingredient—25-year-old 100 percent balsamic vinegar—you don’t have to worry about artificial ingredients or colors.

Best Aged: Giuseppe Giusti Deposito Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena must come from specific regions of Italy, be produced in the traditional way, and be judged by tasters before it can be bottled in a specific style of bottle, with a numbered seal affixed. All of these steps add to the cost of the vinegar, but also ensure a better product overall.

This vinegar can be lightly drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream or fresh strawberries, sipped as a digestif, or used to dress fresh, ripe tomatoes. The tiny bottle has a high price tag, but it's worth the splurge if you're looking for something truly special. If this is a little too pricey, a 12-year aged vinegar is also available from the same company.

Best for Salads: Ellora Farms Balsamic Vinegar Spray

With the Ellora Farms Balsamic Vinegar Spray, your days of drenching parts of your salad while under-dressing others are over. Ellora Farms crafts its balsamic vinegar from red grapes that are grown in vineyards in Crete, Greece, and then ages them in oak barrels for six months to create a premium quality balsamic vinegar with balanced sweet and sour flavors that make the perfect complement to all types of foods.

And the clog-free sprayers not only allow you to perfectly portion the balsamic vinegar, but they also have an innovative design that reaches to the bottom of the bottle so you can get every last drop.

Best for Dipping: OMG! Classic Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar

The low acidity and subtle flavor of the OMG! Classic Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar make it an ideal option for dipping a warm crusty piece of bread, straight from the oven (or your local bakery’s oven). Made from Trebbiano grapes grown in Modena, Italy, and then aged in oak barrels for 12 to 18 years, this high-quality, authentic vinegar has a versatile flavor profile and naturally thick consistency that make it an excellent choice for dipping and finishing.

Best White Balsamic: Blazing Bella White Balsamic Vinegar

Flavored balsamic vinegar is pretty common, and fig vinegar is one of the most popular varieties, thanks to the sweetness and body it adds. While figs are certainly delicious, they don’t add a hard hit of flavor that might conflict with your food, so you can use this vinegar anywhere you’d use a plain balsamic. It's great for salads or brushed onto chicken or ribs before you throw them on the grill. Because of the sweetness the figs add, this is also lovely drizzled over strawberries or grilled peaches.

Best Organic: QO Gourmet Organic Balsamic Vinegar

Dual-certified organic by both the CCPB S.R.L. in Italy and the USDA, you can be sure you’re getting clean, authentic balsamic vinegar with every bottle of QO Gourmet Organic Balsamic Vinegar. QO Gourmet makes its balsamic vinegar in small batches by combining organic grape must with organic wine vinegar and then aging it and refining it in wooden barrels. The result is a thick, full-bodied balsamic vinegar that’s truly versatile with its tangy sweetness and well-balanced aroma.

If you’re looking for an infused organic balsamic vinegar, QO has you covered with citrus, hot chili, blueberry, and raspberry options. 

Best Fig Balsamic: Chef Jean Pierre’s Black Mission Fig Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Chef Jean Pierre’s Black Mission Fig Aged Balsamic Vinegar has extra sweetness and thick, syrupy consistency that really make it the star of the show. This balsamic vinegar is crafted from grapes from Modena, Italy, and reduced without any preservatives or added sweeteners.

While it’s just as versatile as regular balsamic vinegar—you can use it on salads, meats, or roasted vegetables—the added sweetness and fruity undertones from the fig make it ideal for drizzling over ice cream, grilled peaches, or a bowl of fresh berries.

Best Glaze: Colavita Balsamic Glaze

Made by further reducing balsamic vinegar to boil off excess water, the Colavita Balsamic Glaze takes viscosity to a whole new level. The thickened glaze, which is crafted in Italy, has just the right balance of tartness and sweetness, making it an ideal grilling sauce for meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables. It’s also an excellent option for drizzling as a finishing glaze on salads, cheese, pasta dishes, fresh fruits, or desserts.

And since it’s offered at a great price—around 37 to 50 cents per ounce—you can be a little more generous with your portions or use it as a marinade.

Best Value: Kitchen & Love Premium Balsamic Vinegar

Some balsamic vinegars can be expensive, but price isn’t always synonymous with taste, and the Kitchen & Love Premium Balsamic Vinegar proves that. The premium balsamic vinegar is made in Medona, Italy with non-GMO ingredients and minimal processing. It has a light, palate-pleasing flavor that’s ideal for salad dressings, sauces, and dipping.

And at just around 50 cents per ounce—other options on this list can go for $2.36 to $4.73 an ounce—you can add this authentic balsamic vinegar to your pantry without breaking the bank.

Best Gift Set: Mantova Organic Balsamic Vinegar Flavored 4-Pack

Mantova takes tradition and authenticity seriously, by growing, sourcing, pressing, and bottling its balsamic vinegars in Modena, Italy. These flavored vinegars are made by combining concentrated and cooked organic grape must with organic wine vinegar and natural flavors. The vinegar is then aged in wooden barrels to create complex flavors that combine fruity, sweet, and tart flavors and aromas all in one bottle.

This four-pack includes raspberry, fig, pomegranate, and pear—four extremely versatile flavors that level up any dish, from fish to chicken to salad to ice cream.

Final Verdict

The VSOP 25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar will cover all of the bases at a fair price. If you’re looking for something more specific, the Ellora Farms Balsamic Vinegar Spray is great for salads, while the OMG! Classic Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar is best for dipping.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
Continue to 9 of 10 below.