There are two completely different classes of Aged Balsamic vinegar. There is the kind you can get in the average grocery store. Some of these aren’t bad. They also aren’t especially good. You don’t know what good is until you’ve tried one of the real ones.
Our favorite is Acetum Santorini Balsamic Vinegar. It is $37 per bottle. I never use this in recipes that call for mixing balsamic with other ingredients. That would be like boiling down a fine bordeaux in a reduction. I use cheap balsamics from Trader Joes for those sauces. But when I want to make a vinaigrette or a dipping sauce or just a smear on a plate, I dig this bottle out of the back of the pantry. It is syrupy in texture and it has a mellow quality that the grocery stores could never match.
Buy some for yourself or a friend for a gift. It’s that special. They’ll love it. You will too and you will never look at Balsamic Vinegar the same way again.