Vinegar is a staple in many kitchens across the world, and for good reason. It’s cheap, it’s versatile, and it works. But not all vinegar are created equal—some are more acidic than others, some have stronger flavors than others, and some are just more delicious than others. If you’re looking for something that will really add some pizzazz to your food without breaking the bank or your palate, here are our top picks for the best black vinegar:
Top 6 Best Black Vinegar Brands
#1: Colavita Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP, 3 years, 8.5 Floz, Glass Bottle
This product from Colavita is a rich, intense balsamic vinegar with a deep, cooked grape must that has been aged in oak, cherry and walnut barrels. It has an acidic level of 6% and an aroma that’s robust, sweet and strong.
Since this is an aged balsamic vinegar, it may not be suitable for some salads. However, if you’re looking for a quality product, then this is the one to try.
- Product of Modena, Italy
- Aged for 3 years
- Imported from Italy
#2: Soeos Chinkiang Vinegar Black Rice Vinegar
The essential ingredient for a true feast, this tangy vinegar is made from fermented grains and aged until dark brown or black in color. This traditional vinegar has been used for centuries to braise savory pork and duck dishes, as well as drizzled over noodle soups to give them a distinct flavor.
It is also good to combine with soy sauce and use as a dipping sauce for dumplings. Since Chinkiang vinegar is naturally fermented, it contains no additives and is gluten-free.
- Chinkiang vinegar is one of the few Chinese kinds of vinegar that is made from brown rice and broad beans.
- It has a powerful and unique flavor and aroma, with a hint of sweetness due to the brown rice.
- Since it is naturally fermented, it contains no additives and is gluten-free.
- Chinkiang vinegar can be stored at room temperature without refrigeration.
#3: Gold Plum Chinkiang Vinegar
The time-honored liquid is aged in wood barrels and blended with the finest glutinous rice to make a wine that tastes like your grandma’s cooking. Glutinous rice, a type of short grain rice known for its ability to absorb liquids, lends it a slightly sweet flavor and unique texture. The resulting vinegar is mild and sweet, with a neutral aftertaste.
- A subtle yet complex flavor that is derived from 18 different herbs, spices, & grains.
- Infused with essential oils extracted from herbs to help maintain a healthy balance in your body.
- Superior aged vinegar is created through a unique process of blending rice wine vinegar with other grains and aged for a year in large French oak barrels to produce its mellow, smooth character.
#4: Pompeian Gourmet Balsamic Vinegar
This is the perfect vinegar for any salad dressing and sauce recipe, whether it be for seafood or meat. It is a sweet and tangy vinegar that comes from the finest ingredients and best craftsmanship. Through their commitment to quality and their dedication to their customer, The Olive Oil People have created a vinegar that is an excellent addition to any recipe.
- Sweet and tangy taste
- Naturally gluten-free
- Aged in America to ensure the best flavor and quality
#5: 52USA Chinese Black Vinegar
This vinegar is a traditional Chinese distilled liquor made from fermented rice. Initially, the Zhangjiang Vinegars are black like inky water, which turns dark brown after a period of aging.
China has been making vinegar for over a thousand years, with Zhenjiang, or Chinkiang, in particular known for its unique taste. The Zhangjiang Vinegar’s high quality lends itself well to many use cases in the kitchen. It can be used in cooking, as a pickle brine, or as a condiment with food.
The best way to enjoy the full flavor of this vinegar is to use it on the stovetop as an ingredient in stir-fries and marinades.
- Made from only rice, gluten-free
- Production method: fermentation
- Origin: China
- Specialty: rice Chinese black vinegar, crisp and mild flavor
#6: Soeos Chinkiang Vinegar, Naturally Fermented, Mature Aged Black Vinegar
This is a type of Chinese black vinegar also known as Black Rice Vinegar. Made from fermented various grains such as black sticky rice or regular glutinous rice. Distinctive taste, Rich, pungent, and tart flavor, sometimes with a hint of sweetness. It has a fermented malty taste and woody character that distinguish it from the light-colored and fruity rice vinegar.
Versatile use, It works well as a cooking sauce for braised dishes or as a dipping sauce for dumplings and seafood, and a good way to lift a noodle broth. Aged and fermented, It is made from various grains and is aged until the color turns dark brown or inky black. Vinegar is free of any colorant.
- Comes in a 16.9 fl oz bottle
- Made with rice
- Naturally fermented without additives or artificial ingredients
Things To Consider When Purchasing Black Vinegar
Black vinegar is a very popular condiment in Asian cuisine. It’s made by aging rice wine vinegar for at least a year, often longer. The longer you age it, the darker and richer the flavor will become.
There are many different types of black vinegar available on the market today. Here are some things to consider when purchasing black vinegar:
The color of the black vinegar
The color of the vinegar is determined by the types of materials used during the manufacturing process. The darker color comes from aging. If you want a darker color, you can add some coffee beans or black tea leaves to your vinegar.
The manufacturing method
There are two types of black vinegars, namely, rice and wheat-based ones. Rice-based black vinegar is made from rice, water, and koji mold. It has a fruity taste with a hint of caramel and vanilla. Wheat-based black vinegar has a stronger taste than rice-based ones and takes longer to mature. It also contains less acidity than its counterpart due to the high amount of alcohol content in it (the same goes for balsamic vinegar).
The brewing process
Black vinegar has a very long brewing process, usually about two to three months. The longer the brewing process, the more complex and flavorful the black vinegar will be.
How long the black vinegar was aged
The longer it aged, the darker and more complex its flavor will be. If you want a milder version, then buy one that has been aged for less than six months. For an intense flavor, choose one that has been aged for more than a year.
The taste of the black vinegar
Black vinegars have different tastes depending on their production methods and ingredients used to make them. Some have fruity notes while others have a sour taste like pickles or cheese rinds with hints of sweet caramelized sugar candy in between bites.
Is Chinkiang vinegar the same as black vinegar?
Yes, Chinkiang vinegar is the same as black vinegar.
Both are made from rice and are fermented with a type of mold called Aspergillus oryzae. The main difference between the two is that Chinkiang vinegar has been fermented in clay pots for up to three years, giving it a more complex flavor than black vinegar, which is also known as Shanxi or Chinkiang vinegar.
What is black vinegar used for?
Black vinegar is a type of aged vinegar that is black in color, as opposed to its typical golden color. It has a deep, rich flavor and aroma that is often used as a seasoning in Asian cuisine.
There are two types of black vinegar: rice wine vinegar and malt vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is made by fermenting rice wine with bacteria and yeast. Malt vinegar are made by fermenting grain with bacteria and yeast, then distilling the product to remove any alcohol content left over from the fermentation process.
Black vinegar can be used in many recipes to add a unique flavor to dishes such as stir-fries, marinades, salad dressings, soups and more.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the best black kinds of vinegar on the market.
Black vinegar is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Whether you are cooking up a traditional Chinese dish, or something more exotic, black vinegar will add an element of Asian flavor that will leave your guests craving more!
If you’ve never tried black vinegar before, we encourage you to give it a shot—you might just find yourself hooked!