How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3-4 years

Balsamic vinegar is generally used in small quantities, and that’s where the question of whether it goes bad and after how long it lasts arises.

You do not have to worry as it is indicated that if you can use this type of vinegar for quite a considerable amount of time.

Thus, if you use it for only vinaigrette dressings and not salads, the bottle has a chance of staying in your cabinet for years.

It could last to over three years of years, and still performs its great work of adding a little bit of acidity and some pleasantness to your salad dressings.

So, let’s jump right in on how long it lasts and the reasons as to why it lasts that long.

How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Last

Balsamic vinegar can last for up to three years when properly stored. In fact, it actually never goes bad, but it may lose its taste and appearance if it is not well stored and not of the best quality.

There are generally two types of balsamic vinegar that you will get in the market: the traditional one and the commercial.

Both are indicated two have different shelf lives as they are of different qualities:

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

This category of balsamic vinegar usually stored in wooden barrels for over 12-25 years and is costly. By costly, it typically costs approximately $40 for a 250 ml (8.5 fl oz.) bottle.

Just like whiskey, wine, or rum, traditional balsamic vinegar gets more quality with age. Hence, some people actually pass it over to other generations.

Commercial Balsamic Vinegar

This type usually has a best by date, which is about 3-4 years from the manufacturing date. Apparently, the best by date is only input to show you how long this type of vinegar can last at its peak date.

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Balsamic Vinegar TypeLifespan
Commercial-Grade3-4 years
Condiment-Grade10 years
Traditional12-25 years

Reasons Why Balsamic Vinegar Lasts That Long

The above-indicated timeframes are just indicated for the best quality. Both traditional and commercial balsamic vinegar does not get spoiled when stored correctly.

Therefore, the precise shelf-life is mainly dependent on the storage conditions of the vinegar.

The following are some of the storage conditions that are recommended:

  1. Cool surroundings
  2. Dark Cupboard
  3. Away from direct sunlight or heat
  4. Tightly sealed bottle

Proper Storage

It can be seen that good care and proper storage allows balsamic vinegar to stay around for a considerable amount of time.

In the case where you have let contaminants to get in or the bottle opened for long, the balsamic vinegar will definitely get spoiled.

When stored in questionable surroundings, it will be best to stay safe by getting rid of it. Some of the indicators of bad balsamic vinegar include:

  1. Strange Smell
  2. Change in Taste
  3. Change in color

The indicators, as mentioned above, are quite rare, and there is an exception when it becomes misty, as it will still be normal and safe to use.

Time

Most things, especially commercially prepared ones, do not last forever. This is similar to the case of balsamic vinegar such that even though it does not get absolutely spoilt, it declines in quality over time. After several years, the balsamic vinegar will, of course, not taste the same, and if that happens, it will still be safe, but you might consider discarding it for quality reasons.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814607003500
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160505004344