How To Store Balsamic Vinegar, And What You Need To Know About It

How To Store Balsamic Vinegar
What Is Balsamic Vinegar
Types of Balsamic Vinegar
Helpful Products

How To Store Balsamic Vinegar?
The best way to store balsamic vinegar is in a perfect, dark space. Refrigerate if you're primarily using it for salads and prefer chilled vinegar. Otherwise, keep them in a cupboard if you're utilizing them for sauces, marinades, or reductions.

What Is Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar made from grape must, a mix of grape juice and skins.

Types of Balsamic Vinegar and Their Estimated Lifespan
- Commercial Vinegar: 3-4 years
- Traditional Vinegar: 10 years

Balsamic vinegar was first referenced in 1046 when the Holy Roman Emperor Enrico III was given a silver bottle containing balsamic vinegar as a gift.

To enjoy the richness and fullness of balsamic vinegar, you may invest money to get good quality balsamic vinegar because your health is involved. But many times, questions that need urgent answers are asked; how can I store balsamic vinegar so I can enjoy it as long as I want?

Have you ever wondered what Balsamic vinegar is, whether it has types, and how it can be stored? This article will answer your questions.

balsamic vinegar being poured over a salad in a post about how to store balsamic vinegar

What is balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar, also known as "Aceto Balsamico di Modena", is a richly flavored dark vinegar with a slightly sweet taste first produced in Modena, Italy. It is made from grape must: fresh grape juice with all of its components, including the skin, stems, and seeds.

Before now, balsamic vinegar was used as a disinfectant, aided treatment, and played a role in food preparation. Today, it takes the first lead in culinary services; only a few cooks don't know about it. It is mainly used in salad dressing and is a common marinade item in food stores, shopping malls, and flashy restaurants. [1]

Incorporating balsamic vinegar into your diet can also contribute to better health. To understand more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, read What Does It Mean to Be Healthy?

Types of balsamic vinegar and their estimated lifespan

Before discussing how to store balsamic vinegar, you need to know the various types and expected shelf life. Below are the two major balsamic vinegar types and their lifespan.

Commercial Vinegar

This is a common type that can easily be gotten in the market. Although it's not a long-term product, it can be a good option for people who use it. The significant difference between commercial (regular) and traditional balsamic vinegar is that the former contains an additive used to dilute it. Commercial balsamic vinegar lasts for 3-4 years past its manufacture date. [2]

Traditional vinegar

This balsamic vinegar is made with just one primary ingredient; grape must. The juice from the grape is boiled to concentrate, ferment, and acidify and then left in wooden barrels for close to 25 years to age. Traditional balsamic vinegar can last for over 10 years.[3]

How best can you store balsamic vinegar?

Storing balsamic vinegar is as easy as turning off a television. One of the best ways to store balsamic vinegar is to keep it in a pantry away from heat and light after each use. This way, it can last long.

If you only use the condiment for salad dressing, get enough quantity for the sauce, find a dark cupboard or any other dark place where the temperature is excellent, and store the vinegar.

You can use balsamic vinegar for some years, and the flavors will remain intact. If you store it as stated, it may not be necessary to refrigerate it. Good quality balsamic vinegar lasts. [4]

How long does balsamic vinegar last if stored properly?

Many believe that the best quality balsamic vinegar can last as long as one lives and can even be handed over to another generation because of its peak quality. At the same time, a few individuals argue balsamic vinegar goes terribly. It may give you a better insight into these viewpoints.[5]

The question is, is there anything produced on earth that doesn't have an expiration date? Honestly, the shelf life of balsamic vinegar varies if stored properly. Some can stay as long as three to five years or more for the commercial type and close to 10-15 years for the traditional balsamic vinegar. [6]

balsamic vinegar in a bowl in a post about how to store balsamic vinegar

How harmful are heat and light to balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar shouldn't be exposed to heat and light as it can alter the flavor and taste. Some people go as far as cooking it. But for commercial Balsamic vinegar, note that after some years, it may not taste the way it used to taste when you had it fresh. It doesn't mean its shelf life is lost; it can still be used. [7]

You should get dark bottles as they prevent the passage of light.

Can balsamic vinegar go bad?

You may find something similar to a mold in your balsamic vinegar after opening it, and consider discarding the vinegar, thinking it's terrible. However, it doesn't mean it's awful. This substance could be the "mother of vinegar."

If you scoop a small quantity of the vinegar and taste it, you may notice it's still good. Even after the expiration date, balsamic vinegar may taste good.

In this section, we will examine the points that indicate balsamic vinegar has gone wrong.

  • Smell: This is the first hint that your vinegar has gone wrong. When you open the bottle, and you sense a horrible smell immediately when you open it, that's an indication you should discard the bottle.
  • Taste: Vinegar typically has a little acidic taste with sweetness. The taste may vary because of the brands. You can take a small quantity, and if it is harsh on your tongue and you feel the acidic taste more intensely, it is no longer healthy for you to consume.
  • Change of color: If after a while you notice a slight change in the color of your balsamic vinegar, which is meant to be dark brown, it doesn't mean harm, primarily if you use it frequently. But if you are worried about the color, you should discard it.
  • How safe is the container: Generally, any product with a broken seal isn't ideal for consumption. So, the bottle should be tightly sealed; if not, the available wine vinegar is unsafe.
  • Mother of Vinegar
    This gel-like structure forms in a bottle of vinegar after some time of storage. It is not bad, as some people assume. But if you don't like it, remove it with a coffee filter and enjoy your vinegar.[8]
balsamic vinegar being poured onto a spoon in a post about how to store balsamic vinegar

How is traditional balsamic vinegar produced and packaged?

As previously stated, traditional balsamic vinegar is produced from freshly prepared grape must. To ensure the European Union standard is met, the grapes used are grown in Modena and Reggio Emilia of Italy, where there are Trebbiano and Lambrusco varieties of grape.

The production process occurs in stages, boiling and fermentation stages. In the boiling stage, the grape is cooked to concentrate its sugar to a minimum of 30%.  After that, the next step is the fermentation stage. The fermentation stage involves the activity of acetic acid bacteria.

In the final process, the vinegar is put in bits in different wooden barrels like chestnuts, ash, and mulberry. It further concentrates in the barrels for 12-25 years. The duration and responsibility given to produce traditional balsamic vinegar are the reasons for the low production and high cost. A new bottle of good quality balsamic vinegar costs $50 to $200.[9]


Storing balsamic vinegar to last you for a long time is a great practice. This is possible if you subject the vinegar to the right atmosphere and condition. Therefore, you can get the taste you desire whenever you need it.


Can I Heat Up Balsamic Vinegar Before I Consume It?

No, you shouldn't heat up balsamic vinegar. Heating destroys the excellent quality of this liquid. You can add it to your food directly.  

Can I Refrigerate My Vinegar?

Yes, you can. But it isn't necessary if kept in a cool, dry, and neat area devoid of light.


  1. Medical News Today: What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar?
  2. ExactlyHowLong.com: How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Last – (And Why)?
  3. Howlongdoes(?)last: How long does balsamic vinegar last?
  4. Oliver & Grapely: Does Balsamic Vinegar go bad or expire?
  5. Healthagy: How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Last? Does Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?
  6. Martha Stewart: How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Last?
  7. Simply Healthy Family: Does Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad
  8. Delighted Cooking: What is Mother of Vinegar?
  9. Ambrosia Balsamico: How is produced Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

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