Having been prohibited by cost, I do not know what a good, real balsamic vinegar might be. I'm looking for one I can name by brand for my under-$50 family Secret Santa list. I actually bought one last year as a gift that I had picked from the Cook's Illustrated article- I only found it at Dean and Deluca in NYC, can't remember the name. I'll look that up later, but I'd also be interested to hear recommendations/experiences. My guess is there may be several good ones with different essential flavors and that it's a matter of taste, almost like asking what a "good wine" is.