Traditional balsamic vinegar comes only from the ancient town of Modena, Italy. It is a remarkably precious liquid produced in small batches and considered by the best producers to be an heirloom of their expertise. The colored cap of red, silver and gold denote the results of taste-testing by experts from Consorzio Aceto Balsamico, a regulatory body that maintains high standards of quality. The experts impart their seal of approval to certain vinegars that meet their standards, and only those can be considered Aceto Balsamico. Those are further differentiated by classes; the highest is gold, followed by silver and red. After their grading, they are returned to casks to age for at least 12 years; some could be aged for decades and the rarest are aged for a century or more. Our Compagnia Red and Silver cap balsamicos are amazing introductions to the world of traditional Modena vinegars. Buyers need to realize that although red and silver are not at the top of the balsamic mountain, comparing red, silver and gold is like comparing three levels of Rolls Royces with different options. Once these vinegars have been significantly aged, they become a dark, syrupy amber. The taste is a perfectly balanced sweet/sour that explodes in the mouth and then unfolds to reveal the various accents of fruit and barrel aging. This is nothing like the supermarket balsamic you probably have in your cupboard and believe me, you will be instantly and totally amazed at the difference, gourmand or not.