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How to become Master Taster

How to become Master Taster of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena: this is one of the greatest aspirations of lovers of this product.
Starting as Taster and then becoming a Master Taster is not so easy. It takes time and patience to improve product knowledge and the ability to recognize a good Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Are you curious about how becoming Master Taster?
Keep on reading!

These are in ascending order the qualifications to be obtained:

  • Aspiring Student Taster
  • Taster Student
  • Taster
  • Master Taster

It takes several years and hundreds of tastings to achieve the recognition of Master Taster but somewhere you have to start.
It takes at least eight or nine years, the road is not short.
The first step is always the most important.

How to start?

You can start by taking part in the annual course by the Consorteria di Spilamberto: “Training course for Aspiring Students Tasters of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar”. The course is between February and March.

What is it about?

The program includes a lot of lessons and the main topics are about the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
The lessons are twice a week. Initially, the lessons will be theoretical but they will quickly move to practice (include the real tasting).
The lessons are led by experts and the topics vary.
There will be a lesson on grapes and vines, a lesson on must and cooked must and its fermentation. Another lesson will be on barrels and woods and different lessons on how to conduct the Acetaia and tasting techniques.

The course also includes visits to a carpentry laboratory where the barrels are produced, to a chemical analysis laboratory and the Acetaia Sociale.

The result at the end of the course is the qualification of Aspiring Taster and vinegar producer.
A final test is not required but it is required a thesis delivery or an artistic expression related to the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Understanding the differences between vinegar, learning to evaluate the taste, smell and visual aspect of the product will involve all the participants and will please them.

What’s next?

This is only the first step as we said before. At the end of the course to become a Taster Student, you must continue to make at least official tasting in the following months before the summer.
From now, to maintain the qualification, you will need at least 40 vinegar tastings every year for the next four years.
At this point, you acquire the right to take a practical tasting exam.
After passing this exam, you become Taster and to maintain the qualification you will need to make at least 60 tastings per year.

Becoming Master Taster takes another 4 years with at least 60 tastings per year. You also have to pass the final exam to demonstrate your knowledge of the product. To maintain the qualification of Master Taster is necessary to taste at least 80 vinegar annually.
Experienced Master Tasters who taste more than 100 vinegar per year will be able to become conductors of the tasting table.

As you can imagine, becoming a Master Taster of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is not easy. The only indispensable requirement is a great passion for Balsamic Vinegar.

We firmly believe that those who approach this new world will be delighted to discover the history and all the secrets surrounding Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Greetings from Modena.