Thomas Keller’s Balsamic Glaze or Port Wine Glaze

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Thomas Keller's Balsamic Glaze or Port Wine Glaze

We use glazes often in the cheese course, always sparingly, because they are so intense. When making a vinegar or wine glaze, reduce it slowly, almost as if you were letting it evaporate. If you boil it too hard, the acid will remain and make the blaze too sharp. Reducing it slowly and gently results in a much softer tasking glaze. It's easiest to control the heat with the aid of a heat diffuser (cast iron pan beneath saucepan).


  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar or port wine


  • Heat the vinegar or port in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until steam rises from the liquid.
  • Place the saucepan on a heat diffuser and let the liquid reduce very slowly (it shouldn't simmer) for 2 to 3 hours, until it has reduced and thickened to a syrupy glaze.
  • There should be approximately ½ cup of balsamic glaze or ¼ cup of port glaze. Keep the glaze in a squeeze bottle at room temperature for garnishing plates; if the glaze if too thick, warm the bottle in hot water to loosen the glaze.

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