Simon Johnson Vinegars
The best chefs know that their recipes are only ever as good as the ingredients that go into them. And when they’re looking for the highest quality products, Simon Johnson is often their first port of call.
Started in 1992, Simon Johnson was named after its founder, an ex-chef. Today, the company still follows the example he set when searching the globe to uncover the finest culinary products from dairy to deli goods, fish products to fruit, nectars, nuts and much more.
Starting out of a warehouse in Pyrmont, Sydney, Simon Johnson now boasts five retail stores across Australia. And you don’t have to be a chef to visit – this purveyor of gastronomic delights welcomes home cooks and entertainers too. In fact, its passionate staff are ready to share their advice, tips and local secrets.
The Simon Johnson emphasis on the very best quality is why Wine Selectors and Selector magazine are so excited to be partnering with this world class name. Its philosophy focussed on only the best ties in perfectly with the Wine Selectors guarantee of outstanding quality in its expert wine selections.
And just as Wine Selectors loves telling the stories behind the wines the Tasting Panel chooses, Simon Johnson curates its range from brands with fascinating histories.
We present two of Simon Johnson’s favourite vinegar producers whose vinegars are a reflection of a long heritage combined with commitment to innovation.
A Forum for Excellence
Just three kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, in the Baix Penedes region near Barcelona, Spain, you’ll find a vineyard that’s been growing on the unique terroir since the 1980s. But while the vines may only be around 30 years old, they’re imbibed with the history of the site, which includes the remains of the Via Augusta, the Roman road that connected Rome with the most important cities of the Mediterranean. This special vineyard is owned by Cellers Avgvstvs Forvm, who make not only fine wines, but also a range of outstanding vinegars.
Just as great wine needs quality grapes, so too does the very best vinegar. This is a principle on which the Forvm range of vinegars is based, with the finest Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot grapes going into their production. Once the grapes have been partially acidified, the young wine is agitated non-stop for six months to allow the oxidation process to begin. The liquid is then poured into 300 litre oak barrels where the acidification process continues.
After this process comes the all-important tasting and if a barrel does not meet the exacting standards set by the estate, it is discarded. Such is the pride on which this dedicated family-owned estate is based.
So when you pick up a bottle of Forvm vinegar from a Simon Johnson store, you know it’s been chosen for the history, passion and 100% commitment to quality that’s gone into its crafting.
Forvm Cabernet 8 Years Vinegar and Forvm Chardonnay 3 Years Vinegar and Forvm Merlot Vinegar
Aged to Perfection
It’s a little known fact that 40 years ago, only six companies produced balsamic vinegar in its home region of Modena, Italy. Up until then, it was only produced within families. When a son was born a new batch of vinegar was made, kept, matured, and then given as a gift at his marriage.
One of the first to start selling balsamic to the public was La Vecchia Dispensa, owned by the Pelloni-Tintori family. A process that started from the attic of their house, the crafting of La Vecchia Dispensa balsamic vinegar is still based on the recipes handed down through the generations. The must of Trebbiano grapes is fermented in barrels of costly woods – oak, mulberry, chestnut, cherry and juniper – which over the years gradually give the vinegar its inimitable fragrance and flavour. And it is the ageing process that is key to the quality of the finest balsamic vinegar. La Vecchia Dispensa considers six years the minimum time needed for a balsamic vinegar to be ready for blending and bottling, but their range extends to barrels aged 100 years or more!
At Simon Johnson, you’ll find some La Vecchia Dispensa balsamic vinegars with a flavour profile of a vinegar that has been aged for up to 40 years, with each bottle in the range perfect for specific uses. For instance, the deliciously complex ‘8-year-old blend’ has 6% acidity, making it perfect for salads, and grilled vegetables.
Readers receive 20% off the full purchase price of all La Vecchia Dispensa balamic vinegars and Forvm vinegars at Simon Johnson.
Use code: WINESELECTORS20
Offer valid until end March 2021.