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March Special 2023: Buy any THREE 8.4 or 12.7oz bottles, get TWO free 3oz travel bottles with your order (EXTENDED THROUGH 4-7-23)

UPDATE: We have extended this promotion through the first week of April! All orders placed through the website by midnight on Friday April 7th will still be honored.

For the entire month of March, we’ll be offering one of our three times a year special promotions. For EVERY group of THREE bottles you buy that are either 8.4oz or 12.7oz (mix & matching sizes is ok) we’ll add TWO 3oz travel bottles of your choice. For example: if you put three large bottles in your shopping cart, we’d want you to tell us what the two free travel bottle flavors should be. Order six bottles (8.4 or 12.7oz) and you’ll get 4 free travel bottles. For serious shoppers who order a case of 12 bottles, you’ll get 8 free travel bottles ($80 value). We do not make our olive oils in the 3oz size, so olive oils are not available for this special’s freebies.

As always, we’ll be putting in the two free 1.6oz sample bottles with your order for the standard mail order special (all our SOS Free friends, don’t ask for the two freebies twice! There’s never more than 2 free 1.6oz samples with any order).  Now, as usual, there are certain restrictions for ANY of the Free Bottles: We don’t offer samples of Truffle Oil, Saigon Cinnamon, or our Dipping Vinaigrette.  Those two sample bottles ARE the mail order special. This promotion is not combine-able with any other existing promotions.

Here’s how you tell us what you’d like for the free 3oz Travel Bottles and two 1.6oz sample bottles: When you have all the bottles you want to purchase in the shopping cart, go to the Checkout page. At the very bottom of the Checkout page is a box called “Order Notes.” In that box type: “March Special” and then tell us what the travel bottle flavors should be and the two 1.6oz sample flavors for the regular mail order promotion.  PayPal users: Be careful to go to the Order Notes box BEFORE proceeding to PayPal.  If you put in your PayPal info in using the yellow pay with PayPal express checkout button, you will not be able to go back to the Order Notes box and you’ll have to email us your freebie requests.

IMPORTANT: Your order note should be visible on the email you receive after placing your order. If the order notes section there is blank in your email, then it’s blank for us and you need to reply back to that email with the message you had meant to leave so we can add it manually and make sure you get what you wanted. The most common causes of the order note getting “lost” are leaving the checkout page, changing tabs on mobile, refreshing the page, or auto-filling after having typed and your auto-fill deleting the box contents. The safest way to make sure your note stays is to enter it last during checkout, and then immediately proceed to payment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a Promo Code box?

We don’t use a Promo Code box, but we do offer free samples with every order. After you’ve put whatever bottles you’d like to purchase in your shopping cart, tell us what you’d like for the two free samples. The place to tell us what the two 1.6oz samples should be is called Order Notes. You’ll find the Order Notes box at the bottom of the Checkout page, just below where you’ll type in your email address. Just tell us the names of the two freebies and we’ll include them with your order. Remember, if you go back to shopping on our site, copy anything you’ve typed in the Order Notes box. Any notes will disappear if you go back to look at anything on our site. If you miss the Order Notes box, you can send us an email at to tell us what you’d like for freebies.

Can I use the Chef AJ promotion on top of the mail order promotion?

No, the mail-order promotion is just another name for the Chef AJ promotion. It was really difficult to tell who was and wasn’t meaning to use the special, and we decided to open that special up to the general public with the new website under a different name so that everyone ordering from us online gets the two freebies with their order.

Are your products Gluten-Free?

Yes! Every balsamic vinegar and oil product we make is gluten-free.

Are your products Sodium-Free?

Yes! A product is labeled sodium-free if it contains, by F.D.A. order, no more than 5 mg of sodium per serving. at 2 mg per serving, our balsamic vinegars and oils are in fact sodium free and even our spice-blended flavors such as the 7-Herb Italian are made using sodium-free seasonings we buy from our friends in the SOS-free community.

Are your products Oil-Free?

All of our products list their ingredients in their product page and label, every product on our “Balsamic (Oil-Free)” page is oil-free. To help minimize confusion for our SOS-free friends we moved all of our olive oil and vinaigrette (vinegar + oil) products to their own page, “Vinaigrettes and Oils.” If you are unsure if your product contains oil, just check the ingredients list on the product page or label.

Are your products sugar-free?

No processed or cane sugars are added to our balsamic vinegar to sweeten it, anything grown from grapes has the natural sugar of the grape juice. Our balsamic vinegar is a concentrated product with the consistency of a syrup, meant to be used in teaspoons rather than tablespoons. This is achieved by reducing the balsamic vinegar by boiling the water off to make “grape must” which concentrates all the remaining ingredients allowing it to be used in much smaller quantities. Our Premium Dark and Premium White balsamic vinegar bases both have 7 grams per tablespoon of the naturally occurring sugar of the grapes, and are meant to be used in teaspoons per serving to finish recipes.

Does your Balsamic Vinegar contain lead?

Balsamic vinegar carries lead picked up from the earth during the agriculture of the grapes before the grapes are boiled down and the vinegar thickens. Regulatory policies generally require a safety margin of 1,000 fold which means that foods have to be listed as containing lead if they have lead levels more than 1/1,000th of the level that causes an effect in humans. Our premium dark and light vinegar bases are within the standard lead range for high quality balsamic vinegar of 30-35 parts per million. An average person would need to consume 1 to 2 cups of our balsamic vinegar per day for an extended period of time to reach the Proposition 65 lead level minimum threshold here in California which includes a 1000-fold safety margin from there before it becomes hazardous to humans. in other words, incredibly low.

Do your products contain Sulfites?

Fermentation naturally causes the production of sulfur dioxide, commonly referred to as “sulfites.” This is a naturally occurring by-product of the fermentation process used to make all wines and vinegars and most other fermented products. The sulfur dioxide present in balsamic vinegar is naturally occurring from the fermentation process, whereas the much higher levels of sulfur dioxide found in dried fruits for instance is often added as a preservative. Any product with sulfur dioxide levels above ten parts per million must be labeled as such, our balsamic vinegar contains an average of 200 parts per million from the vinegar process (20 milligrams per 100 grams). For reference, the levels found in most dried raisins and prunes off the shelf is between 500 and 2,000 parts per million. If you are extremely sensitive to sulfites there are a variety of balsamic vinegars that will label themselves “sulfite free.” They almost always achieve this by adding hydrogen peroxide to their product to neutralize the small amount of naturally occurring SO2. As a matter of practice we avoid adding any chemicals to our products, especially ones that we believe should stay in the first aid cabinet and not the kitchen.

What is the shelf life of your products, and do they require refrigeration?

Our balsamic vinegars have an acidity level of 4%, making them shelf stable without refrigeration. Just keep them sealed with their airtight lid in a cabinet out of sunlight to minimize degradation. We generally suggest using our balsamic vinegars within 18 months for the best quality, using our rice bran oil vinaigrettes within 18 months, and using up our olive oil products within 12 months of opening.

Is your balsamic vinegar Organic?

Our balsamic vinegar base is non-GMO, but not certified organic. Some of our savory flavors use organic ingredients such as organic garlic, those ingredients are listed as such in the ingredients.

Are your products certified Kosher?

Our products are not certified Kosher. Because the grapes for balsamic vinegar are sourced from various vineyards across Modena and the adjacent regions we cannot guarantee that every vineyard that grows grapes for balsamic has also had their facility certified kosher.

Where is the nutritional information for your products?

Every balsamic vinegar and oil product we make has it’s nutritional information form on it’s product page, look underneath the photo.

I’m sending my order to a friend as a gift. Can I include a card?

We are always happy to customize an order with a gift card. To do so, simply include the message “Gift card note: ‘_______'” in your order notes during checkout. Remember to copy the note if you plan on doing anything other than proceeding directly to checkout, as leaving the checkout page there will delete your message. You can always check your order confirmation email to make sure that your note is in the “note” section. If you are concerned that the note did not make it in, simply email us at promptly and let us know so we can take care of it for you. 🙂

Can I purchase gift certificates for your product?

Yes! Email us at email us at and we are happy to help you with that, we do gift certificates individually.

Do You Offer Free Shipping

We charge a flat rate of 9.95 for every transaction placed through the website, and every order comes with the mail order promotion for two free $6 sample bottles with your purchase. This shipping fee is the same for one bottle and for 200 bottles, so be sure to pick up everything you want at the time in the one order.

Do You Ship internationally?

Yes, however we do not do flat rate shipping on international orders. Shipping almost 2lb glass bottles internationally and safely is very expensive, if you would like to order internationally email us at so we can get you a quote.

Can I customize my Gift Set/Chef AJ Sampler?

Yes. Use the Order Notes box at the bottom of the Checkout page to tell us what flavors you’d like in your Chef AJ Sampler or Gift Set. You can also ask for a complimentary hand written card for a gift going to someone. The card is blank on the inside and cute on the outside, and large enough for the note to be as long as you want. After writing customized flavors or gift card in the Order Notes section remember to copy it if you want to go back and look at our site again before proceeding to checkout, otherwise your note will be lost and you’ll have to re-type it.

What is SOS free?

SOS free means that the flavor contains no processed sugars, oils, or sodium. Many of our customers follow a diet that discourages the use of any sugar, oil or salt. California Balsamic has been a sodium free company for over 35 years. Balsamic vinegar is naturally sodium free, oil free and we add no processed sugar as well.

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California Balsamic Mail Order Promotion: Two Free 1.6 oz Samples with purchase (This is the Chef AJ promotion)

With every order placed through our website we will include two 1.6oz sample bottles of other flavors on our site in your box to try out! (Truffle oil excluded). To choose the two flavors yourself, just write the names of the two flavors in the order notes box during checkout, otherwise we’ll happily pick the two out for you. Limit one set of promotion freebies per order.

This special goes by many names in different communities (Chef AJ Special, Nutmeg Notebook Special, etc) but people often got confused about how the special worked because it wasn’t on our website so we decided to put it up on the site for everyone to use and know exactly how it works. This is NOT a different special, so writing different names for this same special will not get you multiple sets of the two freebies. One set of two freebies for every placed order.