fresh-pressed olive oil

T. J. Robinson and his new 2024 Artisanal Vinegar Collection

My Latest Collection of Artisanal Vinegars

A unique gift for any foodie or cook...(and don't forget yourself!)

Crafted with the Attention Devoted to Fine Wines, Their Unique Flavor Profiles Will Delight Your Taste Buds

  • Hand chosen by me, these four sensational vinegars offer a full range of tastes for every palate, from mild to highly acidic and from sweet to tart—you’ll taste their makers’ passion in every spoonful.
  • Each vinegar is made from the finest fruit, and each in its own way will elevate your cooking and dining enjoyment, adding depth of flavor to every dish.
  • This year’s expanded recipe section includes 36 tempting recipes, from appetizers and aperitifs to soups and sides to entrées and desserts.
  • Once you experience these fine vinegars, meticulously crafted and barrel-aged, you’ll never go back to store-bought, mass-produced brands again.
  • These vinegars also make unique and thoughtful gifts for any foodies or home cooks.
  • Yours to try 100% risk-free—and you needn’t return them if you request a refund. That’s how confident I am that you’ll love these vinegars!

This is a one-time offer, not a club. Quantities are strictly limited. RSVP if you’d like to try them 100% risk free!

Dear Lover of Fine Food,

I and my Merry Band of Tasters recently returned from our annual pilgrimage along the European Vinegar Trail. Oh, what treasures we’ve brought back for you!

Adventuring through Italy, Austria, Portugal, and Spain, we were on a mission to discover the best four selections among Europe’s most revered handcrafted artisanal vinegars. We narrowed down more than a hundred contenders and chose the best four—extraordinary master-made vinegars that will take your culinary creations to new heights of flavor and delight.

Last year’s four selections proved to be a smash hit among home cooks. In fact, as soon as we released those rare vinegars, word spread on foodie social networks, and we were quickly sold out. I suspect the same will happen with this year’s selections because there’s just nothing like these amazing vinegars in US stores. And the supplies we secure are always limited.

What Do My Artisanal Vinegars Have That Mass-Produced Supermarket Vinegars Lack?

The short answer is age and deep, rich, complex flavors.

Supermarket vinegars are made in huge volume using high-speed machinery to produce vinegar in just one to three days.

Sadly, with this high-speed process, the vinegar never reaches its flavor potential because it isn’t given time to develop the innate characteristics of the ingredients—the wine or fruit, for example—from which it is made.

In contrast, artisanal vinegars are created by masters who start with fine wine or luscious fruit. Then they lovingly age their vinegars for years in wooden barrels. This unhurried, traditional process preserves and deepens the flavors of the original ingredients. The result is vinegar with deep, rich character and complex flavor. As you’ll taste for yourself, this makes all the difference when you add it to your favorite salads, stews, soups, sauces, desserts, and more.

That’s Why I’m a Purist—and I Invite You to Be One, Too!

As a professionally trained chef, I’m a vinegar purist, old-fashioned in my tastes. That’s why, when members of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club began clamoring for properly aged artisanal vinegars to complement their extra virgin olive oils, I set out to find the best that Mother Nature makes, helped along, of course, by the artisans at the great vinegar houses. I think of them as vinegar vintners because they do the same exacting work that wine vintners do.

I’ll introduce you to them in a moment. But first…

Just Some of the Ways These Vinegars Will Take Your Cooking to the Next Level

As an acid, vinegar brings lively brightness and zest to dishes in the same way a squeeze of lemon does. But a lemon offers just one flavor. Each of the four vinegars in my curated collection has a unique and deliciously complex flavor profile. Just like a professional chef, you’ll now have a whole new palette of interesting new tastes to enhance a vast range of culinary creations. You’ll have so much fun and enjoyment discovering the possibilities. For example:

Delicious Sauces in a Jiffy—with Deglazing. Use any of these vinegars instead of (or even in addition to) wine to deglaze a pan and turn the fond (the crisp brown bits left after sautéeing) into a rich and quick sauce.

Mouthwatering Enhancements of Classic Dishes. Vinegar is an amazing addition to beurre blanc and béarnaise, to name just two classic butter sauces. With sugar, it creates the ultimate sweet-and-sour sauce known as gastrique.

Juicier Grilled Meats When Marinating. Because vinegar is acidic, it helps break down and tenderize protein fibers, for juicier grilled meats.

Deeper Flavors from Pickling. These vinegars don’t merely preserve foods but also impart a much more delectable tartness.

Drizzles That Dazzle. A few drops of any of these vinegars will enhance just about any dish, from a risotto to a charcuterie plate to berries and ice cream.

Fast and Fantastic Finishes. With just a single splash, you’ll add such flavorful notes to finish a tossed salad or braised greens. In seconds, you can elevate any soup or stew from good enough to glorious. You’ll have so many interesting ways to transform your marinades, vinaigrettes, sauces, desserts—and even your cocktails and mocktails!

Did I Say Cocktails? Oh, Yeah! You’re Gonna Love My Shrub Coolers!

shrub cooler cocktail

As you may have noticed, from corner pubs to the highest-end restaurants, the popularity of artisanal vinegar cocktails is exploding. You’ll understand why when you try the recipes I’ll provide for my favorite “Shrub Coolers.”

Shrub is an old-fashioned sugar-and-vinegar syrup that’s having a renaissance. The two recipes I’ll share with you are a fabulous alternative to lemonade and other coolers. Enjoy them as mocktails or—to turn them into killer cocktails—just add a jigger of your favorite spirit.

And we’re just getting started!

In fact, nothing will inspire your creativity in the kitchen more than the combination of fresh-pressed olive oils and your new 2024 collection of world-class vinegars.

How These Vinegars Have Been Carefully Chosen to Complement My Fresh-Pressed Olive Oils to Enhance So Many Dishes

You’ll love how my mild vinegar pairs so perfectly with your milder olive oils, each in perfect balance with the other so neither overwhelms the dish you’re serving.

When you’re using one of the Club’s bold olive oils, you’ll immediately taste how perfectly it pairs with my bold red wine vinegar.

If you’re making a salad with bitter greens, you can add the perfect touch of sweetness with a sweeter vinegar, like either my sherry or apple vinegar.

If you’re making a chopped salad with provolone and salami, use my red wine vinegar to balance the richness of the meat and cheese.

In the special report that accompanies your vinegar collection, I’ll give you all the guidance you’ll need to use each vinegar like a master chef.

With the four exceptional vinegars in this collection, you’ll have so much fun discovering a wide variety of pairings you like best.

TJ Robinson Single Estate Vinegar Collection

Meet the Four Vinegars in My 2024 Collection—from Sweet to Tart

Like other chefs, I insist on having a selection of vinegars from sweet to tart in my pantry, and you will too. Sometimes I want a sweeter note. Other times, nothing but a tart vinegar will do. Having the full range gives you maximum versatility to enhance virtually every food you’ll serve. From salads to sautés, you’ll get a different flavor profile from each vinegar.

From more than a hundred master vinegars we tasted, here are the four finalists we’ve chosen for this 2024 collection of all-star artisanal vinegars:

Condimento Barili Exclusivi, a balsamic vinegar, adds sweet richness and complexity, especially as a finishing touch.

Vinagre de Touriga Nacional, a red wine vinegar, adds a bright and strong tang to balance rich foods.

Pedro Ximénez Reserve, a sherry vinegar, adds sweetness with mild acidity for depth and brightness.

Apple Balsamic Vinegar, crafted in classic balsamic style, adds fruitiness and subtle acidity for a sweet-tart taste.

In the special Vinegar Report that accompanies your 2024 vinegar collection, I’ll give you all the guidance you’ll need to use each vinegar like a master chef.

I’ll also show you how to combine vinegars. Here’s just one example: for a vinaigrette with enchanting complexity, use half balsamic for sweetness and half red wine vinegar for tartness. Then combine with a vividly bright, fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil for a vinaigrette that soars above the ordinary! In fact, just saying these words to myself, I begin to imagine the glorious flavors of these amazing ingredients on my palate! I can’t wait for you and your guests to taste them yourselves.

With the four exceptional vinegars in this collection, you’ll have so much fun discovering a wide variety of pairings that you, your family, and guests will relish in the months ahead.

And now let me introduce you to the four top vinegars I and my Merry Band of Tasters have sourced for you this year…

Condimento all“Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP” Barili Exclusivi

Vinegar #1 in Your Artisanal Collection:
The Ultimate Balsamic di Modena

  • Vinegar Variety: Condimento all“Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP” Barili Exclusivi
  • Flavor Profile: Rich and sweet
  • Producer: Società Agricola Acetomodena, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Vinegar Vintner: Paolo Vecchi

In Italy and around the world, Aceto Balsamico is renowned as the “king of vinegars.” And the best are sourced from Modena, Italy.

Condimento all“Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP” Barili Exclusivi

Modena, both the city and the province, is within northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, known for fast cars, like Maserati and Ferrari, and luscious food—Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Parma ham, and authentic balsamic vinegar.

It’s my favorite eating region in the country. In fact, my wife Meghan and I first visited Modena a few years ago on our honeymoon as part of a food-centric road trip. We visited local acetaias, or vinegar factories, and learned about the history of Aceto Balsamico, including that when a child is born, they are gifted with a “battery” of balsamic vinegar barrels, which will be aged for them over time.

Just as sparkling wines can be called Champagne only if they come from the Champagne region of France, Aceto Balsamico di Modena can be called that only if the balsamic is completely made within the Modena region and exclusively from Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes. Like a trademark, this renowned appellation is legally protected worldwide.

The Aceto Balsamico di Modena in your collection comes to you direct from the master Modena artisan, Paolo Vecchi. How renowned are Paolo’s balsamics? In a recent competition conducted by an association of professional vinegar tasters in Modena, among 600 artisanal producers of Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Paolo’s won first place.

So it is no exaggeration to state that you, your family and lucky guests will soon be savoring your own bottle of the best-of-the-best balsamic on the planet.

With so many bottles on store shelves labeled “balsamic vinegar,” it’s important not only to know how true aceto balsamico is made, but to also be aware of the distinctions that result from various lengths of aging time.

The pinnacle of balsamic vinegar is Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta or Protected Origin Denomination), which can take generations to make and is wildly expensive. That’s because it’s crafted exclusively from cooked grape must—all parts of the grapes are used—and aged for a minimum of 12 years and sometimes 25 years or even longer. A few ounces cost well over a hundred dollars, so it’s not used for cooking or making vinaigrettes but for drizzling sparingly on foods as a finishing touch.

The next category of balsamic is Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta or protected geographical indication). It must be made from grape must and wine vinegar and aged in wooden barrels for at least two months. Acetomodena’s IGP is made in an artisanal fashion, aged in barrels with a maximum volume of 300 liters (about 80 gallons) for as long as three years, which allows it to get sweeter and more harmonious as it achieves the perfect ratio of density to acidity. My selection is a special IGP vinegar, Condimento Barili Exclusivi—a condiment from our exclusive barrels—that has benefited from another year of aging. It’s reminiscent of a fine DOP that’s both affordable and approachable.

This Barili Exclusivi is the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness from grape must, and woodiness from the barrel aging. I liken it to when vintners create a cuvée, blending wines from various barrels to create a finished product that is greater than the sum of the parts. The ultimate quality of the balsamic depends on the skill of the producer, including knowing what wood to pick for each period of aging. The smaller cherry wood barrels (Paolo’s favorite!) give my balsamic a special sweetness and allow for more contact surface with the vinegar during the last two years of aging than do larger barrels.

Impressions and Recommended Food Pairings: At first, you’ll inhale the aromas of prunes, sweet dark cherries, dried figs, and dark chocolate, and then you’ll enjoy hints of vanilla, leather, and toasted oak. On the tongue, Barili Exclusivi is thick, rich, tangy, and velvety, with a well-calibrated sweetness and tartness that comes in waves. You’ll taste prune, raspberry jam, red currants, dark honey, and notes of various dried fruits—raisins, black cherries, cranberries, and apricots—plus a touch of cherry from the lengthy aging in cherry wood barrels. This vinegar is sweet, strong, and luscious with a subtle acidity balanced by heady aromatics—woody and herbaceous notes—with a super-long and pleasantly tangy finish.

Barili Exclusivi will enhance every kind of salad and every green. Pair it with your extra virgin olive oils to enhance mature or fresh cheeses, from aged Parmigiano Reggiano to just-made burrata. Drizzle it over all manner of charcuterie, including cured meats; on tomatoes with a sprinkling of Maldon salt; on cooked vegetables, fish, beef, lamb, and egg dishes; on strawberries or pineapple “carpaccio” served over vanilla ice cream; on flourless chocolate cake and banana or zucchini quick breads; and on French toast topped with butter and berries. Use it judiciously in cooking—add it at the very end of a recipe such as a risotto, then dot each serving with a few more drops.

“As a Food Network Executive, I’m grateful to T.J. for always bringing the best, most unique, and highest-quality products to my pantry!”

As a Food Network Executive I am blessed with exceptional exposure to wonderful, high-end food products and their passionate makers. Because of this, I have always recognized and deeply appreciated the care that T.J. takes in curating his oils, and this set of artisanal vinegars is no exception.

"ALL of the vinegars have their own point of view and unique uses. Thank you T.J., for inspiring my cooking creativity and for providing my pantry with a delightful and truly spectacular upgrade. I can't wait to try them in all of the ways you suggested from marinades to pickling. My vinaigrettes have never been so tasty. You’ve nailed it once again!Helen T., Brooklyn, NY

These vinegars are so delicious and all so unique. I have three children who probably didn't even know what vinegar was until our set arrived, and now I can't keep them out of it! They want to drink it from a spoon. I ordered oil and vinegar for a salad at a restaurant the other day, and the kids were horrified by the vinegar the server brought. I'm now raising olive oil and vinegar snobs, and I couldn't be happier about it!Kelly L., Chicago, IL

Once again, these vinegars from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club deserve a place of honor alongside the Club’s astonishing olive oils!Jacqueline C., New York, NY

Vinagre de Touriga Nacional Red Wine Vinegar

Vinegar #2 in Your Artisanal Collection:
A Bold and Bracing Red Wine Vinegar 22 Years in the Making…Honored as the Finest in Portugal

  • Vinegar Variety: Vinagre de Touriga Nacional Red Wine Vinegar
  • Flavor Profile: Very bold and bracing
  • Producer: CARM—Casa Agricola Roboredo Madeira, Almendra, Portugal
  • Vinegar Vintner: Filipe Roboredo Madeira

Members of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club have come to know my dear friends Filipe Roboredo Madeira, his brother António, and their father Celso—now 90 and still going strong—who manage the CARM estates.

Vinagre de Touriga Nacional Red Wine Vinegar

Their picturesque vineyards and olive groves surround the village of Almendra in the Upper Douro region of Portugal. This is where the Douro River continues its course from Spain and where the country’s oldest and most fabled wine region begins. In fact, the Demarcated Douro and Port Wine Region was recognized in 1756 and made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.

Famous for its terraced vineyards carved from schist and granite soils by hand and occasionally dynamite, the Douro region produces an array of world-famous wines. The region is also known for its diverse microclimates, caused by massive elevation changes in the topography and proximity to the Douro River. This unique confluence of geography and climate enables the production of grapes that create remarkably aromatic, fresh, and elegant wines.

From such exceptional wines are born equally extraordinary vinegars, as you’ll taste in my favorite red wine vinegar selection.

The typical aging process for artisanal red wine vinegar is two years, but Filipe desired to produce a vinegar like no other. “We wanted to do something totally different, but we needed a mother, which a friend gave us. It took a year and a half to develop our own mother from the original and split it among the barrels. As we went along, we decided to continue the aging process well beyond two years and ended up creating a truly remarkable product aged for 22 years in American oak barrels.”

Imagine that—a palate-thrilling wine vinegar that’s been aged to perfection and deep character for the last 22 years. That’s the special batch I’ve reserved for you, and it may never be duplicated!

Indeed, Filipe’s dream of producing a vinegar like no other has certainly come true, as this vinegar has won the Gold Medal in Portugal’s prestigious National Vinegar Contest.

Impressions and Recommended Food Pairings: The natural temperature changes over its many years of aging have made this Vinagre de Touriga a well-rounded red wine vinegar, intense yet velvety as well as tart. There are notes of dried roses and leather and an earthiness on the nose, along with hints of pear, malt, toasted hazelnuts, chestnut honey, and strawberry jam.

On the tongue, you taste all the elements that were in the wine—that very intense flavor of the Touriga Nacional grapes with notes of dried red fruits, rose, tobacco, currants, hazelnuts, and nutty brown butter, along with hints of pickled ginger and fine Madeira. Bright and direct, dry and astringent, it has a pleasing salty-sour acidity.

This vinegar is exceedingly concentrated, so use it sparingly. When making recipes, add, taste, and then add a little more vinegar as desired. It’s marvelous in soups, stews, and other hearty dishes, like beans with chorizo and rice, and in herb-and-vinegar-based sauces and marinades. It enhances wild greens and vegetable salads and sautés, antipasto platters, and grilled cheeses. Reach for it when quick-pickling cucumbers and red onions and as a finishing touch for caramelized vegetables, from beets to potatoes, and for fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and cod, as well as fried fish.

"Made me curse out loud it was so delicious."

I opened the first vinegar, poured a drop onto a wooden tasting spoon, and it actually made me curse out loud it was so delicious. I tried another vinegar next and was speechless. Now I cannot wait to make the Waldorf salad recipe that came in the Vinegar Collection Report. Teresa, Jacksonville, FL

My wife and I sampled the vinegar and happened to have another good quality vinegar on hand to compare it to. There was no comparison! The one from T.J. was far superior, with a rich viscosity and layers of intense, barrel-aged flavors that went on and on. We quickly tried it with strawberries, Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged provolone, a 3-year-aged Gouda, some 24-month prosciutto and ended with vanilla ice cream. We could have kept going because it elevated the eating experience of all these foods, and we have a long list of others we’re anxious to try. Charles N., New York, NY

My mouth is watering as I write this review! This was my favorite vinegar I have ever tasted, and I have tasted quite a few while traveling through the Modena region. Dave L., Round Lake, IL

Used it to do a lamb stew, using T.J’s recipe. For herbs, I used my homegrown rosemary, sage, lavender, and thyme: dried and crushed with the EVOO, the vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. We wanted to lick the bowls! Jeanne S. B., Reno, NV

It's like sipping a fine wine with loads of character, leaving a delicious finish on the palate. Fit for a knight! Victor M., Asheville, NC

Pedro Ximénez Reserve Sherry Vinegar DOP

Vinegar #3 in Your Artisanal Collection:
A Sweet and Sassy Sherry Vinegar 50 Years in the Making

  • Vinegar Variety: Pedro Ximénez Reserve Sherry Vinegar DOP
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet and tangy
  • Producer: Páez Morilla, Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain
  • Vinegar Vintner: The Páez Morilla family and Oenologist Raúl F. Guerrero, PhD

Spain is legendary for its sherry, which can only be produced inside a small area within the province of Cádiz in the southwestern part of Andalusia, a romantic region also known for flamenco and majestic horses.

Pedro Ximénez Reserve Sherry Vinegar DOP

I remember my first visit nearly 20 years ago to the famous “sherry triangle” that connects the three cities of El Puerto, Sanlucar, and Jerez. Jerez is home to Bodegas Páez Morilla, and thanks to the efforts of four generations of the Páez family, the region is now also known for its delectable sherry vinegar.

As vinegar producers, their guiding mission was clear from their first day so many decades ago: “If our sherry wine is of highest-quality, then our vinegar from this wine will be as well.”

And if the right grapes are essential for making exceptional sherry vinegar, so are the wooden barrels in which the vinegar ferments. Two generations ago, the family started sourcing aged barrels from area wineries that were going to discard them after a wine failed.

Esperanza Ramirez Páez Lobato, the family’s export manager, explains, “Our barrels are old barrels—some dating back to 1936—and that makes a big difference. Sherry vinegar needs time. We have time on our side today because long ago my grandfather—Antonio Páez Lobato—started this process. He was hard-working until his last days and was at the winery every day, even in his wheelchair, to check on everything.”

Grandpa’s attention to detail—and his family’s dedication to this proud heritage—is evident in every taste. Three years ago, before his passing, grandpa Lobato was honored by his home city of Jerez, Spain, for his vision in making this entire region renowned for its world-famous sherry vinegar. Jerez honored him with a special Excellence award, even naming a roundabout on a local road after him and pledging that he would always be remembered in local history as “El Rey del Vinagre,” The King of Vinegar.

I must add that another tradition used by Bodegas Páez Morilla since the 1940s is the Solera and Cridera System of progressive fermentation. Rows of barrels are stacked on three racks, pyramid style, with the youngest vinegar added to the top barrels. As a vinegar ages, it’s moved down, in stages, to the two lower levels of barrels. When ready, the vinegar is taken from the bottom barrels, but these are never fully emptied, so each bottle of vinegar is always a blend. That also means that some amount of a Bodegas Páez Morilla vinegar has been aged for over 50 years!

Impressions and Recommended Food Pairings: When one of the world’s great chefs, Jose Andres, demonstrated some of his favorite recipes and ingredients on The Ellen Show, he chose this sherry vinegar to put the finishing touch on a gazpacho soup that, in his words, “will change your life forever.”

I share chef Jose’s high regard for what this vinegar can bring to almost any dish. It’s the best sherry vinegar by far that I’ve ever tasted! There are notes of cantaloupe, dried peaches and apricots, turbinado sugar, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and toasted hazelnuts, and even a hint of raisin bread on the nose, along with a whiff of pear and dried ancho chile pepper.

With a beautiful cognac color, this vinegar has a sweetness and acidity that are very well calibrated, allowing you to taste the full spectrum of flavors. It’s bright and gently astringent yet sweet, with notes of spicy white pepper, sultana raisins, Asian pear, figs, plums, ginger, cream sherry, and the nuttiness of toasted, salted Marcona almonds. Slightly oaky, it also has the fresh taste of fennel seed.

As Esperanza’s grandfather often said, there isn’t anything that doesn’t taste better with sherry vinegar. It’s essential for classic gazpacho and for all Mediterranean dishes that use olive oil, from salads and lentils to lamb and duck. To take advantage of the sweet notes of the PX grapes, drizzle it over sliced tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh oregano. Pair it with Manchego cheese; grilled or roasted vegetables, vegetable stir-fries, and boiled potatoes or carrots; reduction sauces, marinades, and pickling liquid; tuna salad and other fish dishes; sweet sauces like fruit coulis and caramel sauce; and citrus or high-acid fruits like strawberries.

“I’m ruined for other vinegars!”

For all the years my wife and I have enjoyed the deliciousness and health benefits of Fresh-Pressed Olive Oils, we had wished for something more from T.J.: vinegars to pair with them that were chosen with his same scrupulous care to assure superb flavors and the highest quality! from small, artisanal producers. And our wish came true. His vinegars are seriously mind-blowing. I was totally unprepared for how amazing vinegars could be. Ridiculous. And now I’m ruined for other vinegars! I had a couple of pretty good quality vinegars in the house for comparison and they were not close to being in the same league.Charles N., New York, NY

The vinegars just arrived and I opened them immediately to do a taste test. I grabbed a teaspoon and opened each one individually to take a sip….Just had to shoot off my first reaction as soon as I tasted them all! WOW WOW WOW and WOW! FANTASTICO!Kate R., Eagle, ID

All of the vinegars are indeed much more layered in taste than any vinegar I’d tasted before….Absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for these beautiful vinegars and for all the information that came with them. What a lovely experience to look at them through your lens.Cynthia N., Chautauqua, NY

Blew me away!Sandy W., Sharon, CT

Omigosh! Created a very pleasant experience for my palate. Kudos to you, T.J.Ken G., Palm Coast, FL

Apple Balsamic Vinegar

Vinegar #4 in Your Artisanal Collection:
Austria’s Pride and Joy — the Sweet Apple Balsamic That Literally Changed the World of Vinegar

  • Vinegar Variety: Apple Balsamic Vinegar
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet and fruity
  • Producer: Gölles, Riegersburg, Styria, Austria
  • Vinegar Vintner: Alois Gölles, Jr.

As a longtime fan of Gölles vinegars, I treasure my visit to the family’s expansive compound in the town of Riegersburg, a tourist destination popular for its famed castle, or schloss, dating back to the year 1138. Styria is called the green heart of Austria because of its verdant, hilly landscape and fertile land, and that makes it perfect for the orchards and vineyards of Gölles.

Apple Balsamic Vinegar

If you’ve ever sampled flavored vinegars, prepare to be blown away by the taste difference in a vinegar crafted from real fruit using time-honored traditions. Alois Gölles Jr., whose father started their orchards in the late 1950s, initially began creating fruit wines, juices, and spirits. A trip to Modena, Italy, in the early ’80s inspired him to create a balsamic vinegar from apples rather than grapes—a vinegar the likes of which the world had never seen.

It’s not surprising that Gölles’s Apple Balsamic Vinegar has the sweet taste of a traditional grape balsamic as well as its richness: It’s made according to the traditional balsamic vinegar method. The fruit is first sorted and washed, then crushed and pressed into juice. Next, the juice is cooked in copper vessels for 24 hours to reduce it to a quarter of its original volume, which intensifies its flavor.

The two-step fermentation process happens in big stainless-steel vats, after which the vinegar is moved into small oak barrels and aged for at least eight years—this year’s apple balsamic has been aged for 10 years. The complex process creates exceptional sweetness, a mild tartness, and a wonderfully strong aroma. I just love this completely unique Austrian artisanal vinegar!

The Gölles vinegar cellar has more than 1,200 old oak barrels that fill the space with heady aromas. “A barrel is the perfect place for vinegar to mature—the natural evaporation of the water leads to the higher viscosity of balsamic vinegars. At the same time, the vinegars develop a mild tartness and pleasant aroma. We use our old barrels until they break—for 10 to 20 years,” Alois explained.

Another secret to their success is the fruit they choose. “Our business focuses especially on old, almost forgotten heirloom varieties of fruit. In contrast to the types of dessert fruit common today, heirloom fruit often results in more complex and interesting spirits and vinegars,” said Alois.

Varieties for the apple balsamic, including Maschansker, Ilzer Weinler, Rosenapfel, and Bohnapfel, are all chosen for their special characteristics. “Our products are proof positive that such neglected types of fruit can be used to make especially delicious spirits and vinegars. It means doing a lot of the work by hand with great care and a lot of passion,” added Alois.

Alois’s son, David, is the third Gölles generation involved in the business. David’s passion is for spirits, and his arm of the operation is called the House of Whisky, Gin & Rum. He took great delight in showing us every innovation throughout the sprawling, self-sufficient compound that’s beautifully designed and pristinely maintained.

Their approach is a model for sustainability—the fruit juices are heated on wood chips from the family’s own forest, and they’ve installed photovoltaic panels for energy and movement-controlled lighting, especially for areas not much used. “So if someone forgets to turn off a light, you don’t keep losing electricity until another employee returns to the area,” David explained.

Visitors from all over the world come to take the Gölles tour, an interactive experience complete with special touches like tasting stations, the lively Schnappsbar, and a stylistic tree-shaped sculpture—an homage to the link between the business and nature—that connects the two floors of the visitor space. Though others have tried to copy Gölles, their attention to detail and their blending of Old World techniques with the latest innovations keep them in the lead.

Impressions and Recommended Food Pairings: The very clear bright sweetness and slightly tart flavor of apples are completely captured in the bottle. Note the aroma of fresh-pressed apple cider and dried apples on the nose, along with pear, florals, fresh peppermint, bruised banana, malt, vanilla, baking spices, and just a whiff of tobacco. On the palate, you taste apple butter and vanilla along with hints of dried plums, honey, rhubarb, wild strawberry, cardamom, and florals.

Apple Balsamic Vinegar adds a touch of sweetness to greens as well as composed cheese-and-fruit salads, from mozzarella, tomato, and basil to spinach, blue cheese, and walnuts. It enhances pork roasts and chops, grilled fish, carpaccio, goat cheese, pâtés, and terrines. Just a few drops will brighten savory dishes, such as oven-roasted vegetables, and sweet ones, like panna cotta-type puddings and vanilla and fruit-based ice creams. Use it to deglaze your pan when making reduction sauces—add a spoonful or two along with some butter and, voilà!, an amazing accompaniment for steak.

“Friends will wonder what our ‘secret’ is!”

Absolutely sublime! Once again, friends will wonder what our ‘secret’ is!Charles N., New York, NY

Can't wait to drizzle some on my sweet potatoes or brussels sprouts. My daughter-in-law makes an outstanding charcuterie board, and this pairing would be the coup de grace!Victor M., Asheville, NC

The entire collection is great.Peter H., New Paltz, NY

My wife and I really enjoyed last year’s vinegars, so we were incredibly excited to receive this year’s selection. We live on the coast of North Carolina, and we love to fish. We had some fresh speckled trout and used one of our favorite recipes to prepare it. We drizzled the vinegar over the fish right before serving. Wow! We were blown away how it elevated the dish. The flavor really stood out. We can’t wait to try some of the recipes in The Vinegar Collection Report.Steve S., Edenton, NC

Leaning on the complexity and quality of these artisan vinegars takes a lot of effort out of the rest of the meal preparation, either with the number of steps or ingredients.”Ryan B., Greenville, SC

This new vinegar collection is sublime, absolutely sublime.Dr. Andrew Wells, Candler, NC

An outstanding homage to one of the ‘unsung’ heroes of the culinary condiment world, vinegars! Absolutely blown away by these vinegars' intensity and bright, bold pops of flavors that enhanced every dish I splashed them on! THANK YOU, Fresh Pressed Olive Oil, for bringing us this extraordinary vinegar collection!Sandee Q., Bridgeport, PA

Health Benefits of Vinegar

As published in U.S. News & World Report

The health-related benefits of vinegar aren’t a new phenomenon. Back in 400 B.C. the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates reportedly used fruit-derived vinegars to treat wounds, coughs and other ailments. Fast-forward to today, and vinegar is showing promise as a tool to improve blood sugar control and blood lipid (cholesterol) levels—perks that stem largely from the polyphenols and the acetic acid in vinegar, and the probiotics (health-promoting bacteria) that result from the fermentation process.

“Vinegar can do wonders for your blood sugar.”

Bottom Line’s Book of Health Breakthroughs

The scientific evidence of vinegar’s blood sugar benefits is strong and consistent,” reports Carol Johnston, RD, PhD, professor and assistant director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, Phoenix.

As Dr. Johnston explains, “A recent statistical analysis of the 11 best studies concluded that consuming vinegar with a meal, compared with having the same meal without vinegar, reduced postmeal blood sugar spikes by an average of 40%.

Why this matters: Much of the metabolic damage caused by diabetes—and prediabetes—is caused by these spikes.

Timing: For the best effect on blood sugar, consume vinegar at or near the start of a meal.… For the most reliable effect, dilute two tablespoons of vinegar in a glass of water and drink it with the first bites of the meal.

“Can’t go back to store-bought vinegars.”

Our vinegars from The Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club arrived and we were impressed with the handsome well-made bottles for each vinegar. With fresh helpings from our local farmers market, we began tasting each. The flavors are lively, extremely fresh and worldly. I don’t believe our family can go back to store-bought vinegars as we would be missing the savor these vinegars add to our meals. We look forward to sharing our new vinegars with family and friends. The vinegars are not only savory, but pour so nicely and make each dish all the more delectable!Danielle J., Schererville, IN

I love making salads and thought I had a pretty good assortment of vinegars next to my Fresh-Pressed olive oils. One taste of each of these selections and it was goodbye to the whole lot of vinegars I was using before.Alexandra C., Brooklyn, NY

I’m a home cook. I once thought I was being fancy getting the ‘high end’ bottles of oil and vinegar at a health food market. That was until I discovered the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club. It has changed my home kitchen space and how I think of flavors to enhance my cooking. I started having gatherings of my friends who are home cooks when each new bottle arrived so we could explore and ideate about the use of each divine flavor. I was thrilled to see there is a new vinegar collection! I blame my family's belief that I'm a pretty good home cook on Chef T.J. Robinson's ability to hand select and deliver the finest options that make me, a home chef, feel like I know what I'm doing!Missy G., Fletcher, NC

We just received our first vinegar shipment and WOW! What a delicious, simple way to elevate home cooked meals, especially roasted veggies, salads, and meat marinades. I was impressed with the variety in one shipment—something for everybody. What a fun and flavorful addition to our exquisite olive oil also curated by The Olive Oil Hunter. The only thing better would be if TJ would come cook for us! Until then, we’ll flex our ‘gourmet’ skills with his olive oil and vinegars!Caley & Nicholas K., Jupiter, FL

Because of the immense variety of products at stores, online, etc., the choice is overwhelming. There is no way to know which products are good and which are not. But T.J.'s model is to travel the world tasting, curating, and delivering superior olive oils, and now vinegars. With him doing the work, I don’t have to suffer the many duds available on the store shelf that are all promise with no proof.

“I feel blessed to have been able to experience the variety of amazing oils. And now, the vinegars. I’ve always liked that T.J. called the EVOOs 'sauce.' The same can be said for these vinegars: they are stand-alone sauces. Tasting them is proof; all you need is a spoon. Unlike most store-bought vinegars, these have no nasty after-flavors. No chemical astringency. They taste finished right out of the bottle. As a part of a bigger package, a recipe of wonderful ingredients, these sauces are bound to make your meals nicer.Christopher M. Craig, Attorney at Law, Asheville, NC

These Vinegars Are Your Perfect Pantry Additions...And Make Wonderful Gifts As Well!

In the months ahead, you’ll have so many opportunities to enhance your favorite dishes while trying the 36 kitchen-tested recipes I’ll include with your artisanal vinegar collection. Each meal can be a new adventure in elevated flavors.

All four vinegars in your collection are naturally free of fillers, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, nuts, and anything artificial.

Just $98…and You’re Protected by Our No-Risk, No-Questions, 100% Money-Back Guarantee

Your purchase is covered by my ironclad, 100% money-back guarantee. If you do not fall madly in love with these artisanal vinegars, just say the word, and you’ll receive all your money back, no questions asked. And you won’t even have to return a single vinegar. All will be yours to keep.

Special Request:
RSVP Now. This Is a One-Time Offer (Not a Club) and Quantities Are Strictly Limited

My personally curated collection of artisanal vinegars is a one-time offer. It’s not a club, so you won’t receive any automatic shipments in the future. I have a very limited quantity of these sets. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and I am announcing them to all 20,000 members of our Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club.

I must ask that if you’d like one or more of these sets, please respond right away to avoid disappointment.

Why These Vinegars Are So Special to Me…and Will Be to You!

For years our Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club members have been quite vocal in their demand for vinegars as fine as our olive oils. To me, it’s always been a paradox that these two foods that match so perfectly on the plate must be crafted so differently on the farm! A great olive oil must be super fresh—right from the harvest—while a great vinegar must age so long in a series of barrels.

Luckily, the world of olive oil is closely tied to the world of vinegar. On my olive oil hunts over the years, I and my Merry Band of Olive Oil Tasters have gotten to know vinegar producers around the globe and have developed relationships, indeed friendships, with them.

I’m thrilled to be able to bring you the best vinegars I’ve ever tasted from the best of these producers. For this collection, I chose four renowned makers in Europe where crafting vinegar is a high art. Theirs are the vinegars I would bring home from my travels, stuffed into my suitcase, hoping I’d have enough to last until my next visit. I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring them to you now!

I can’t wait for you to experience these vinegars in your favorite dishes and in the 36 kitchen-tested recipes I’ll include in your 2024 Vinegar Collection Report. In your Report, I’ll also describe the complete heritage and pedigree of each vinegar. You’ll also meet the proud artisans who create these world-class vinegars and hear, in their own words, why they are so passionate about making vinegars that are esteemed as among the finest in the world.

I assure you, once you start enjoying these master-made artisanal vinegars, with their deep, rich, palate-awakening flavors as complex as the finest wines, you’ll never go back to the mass-produced, one-note wannabes that fill our supermarket vinegar shelves.

Tasting is believing. That is what I invite you to do now.

Happy drizzling,

T. J. Robinson
Curated Culinary Selections

Order Form

TJ Robionson Curated Culinary Collections

RSVP to Order T. J. Robinson's 2024 Artisanal Vinegar Sets…Sourced from Europe’s Finest Estates and Master Makers

A one-time offer, not a club. Strictly limited quantities.

  • Four vinegars crafted with the attention worthy of rare fine wines. And they’re all from Europe’s top master makers, including a rare balsamic vinegar … a bracing red wine vinegar … a sweet and sassy sherry vinegar … and a sweet apple balsamic vinegar.
  • There’s a storied history behind each bottle. You’ll taste their makers’ passion in every pour.
  • With just a few drops, you’ll bring brightness and zest to any dish … transform sauces, soups, and stews … tenderize meats and make them juicier … create deeper flavors from pickling … add delectable finishes to tossed salads, veggies, and even desserts … shake things up with spirited new cocktails and mocktails.
  • Each set comes with my 2024 Vinegar Collection Report, featuring each vinegar’s origin, history, and most delicious pairings in a wide variety of cuisines, as well as my tasting notes and three dozen of my most popular kitchen-tested recipes.
  • These exclusive vinegars will make wonderful and unique gifts for all food lovers on your list.
  • Each set comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. And you won’t even have to return the vinegars.

If you have any questions, you can reach our Member Service team toll-free at: 1-888-963-4582

If all our service coordinators are busy when you call, please leave your phone number and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.

All artisanal vinegar sets will be shipped by UPS 2nd Day Air Service.

No P.O. Boxes please. FedEx and UPS do not deliver to P.O. boxes.

Get Your Set Now...Or Send Gifts

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