G.D. Vajra, Barolo Chinato MV (750ml)
Aromatized Wine｜Piedmont, Italy
An herb-and-spice infused apéritif from one of the most allocated and sought-after estates in Piedmont!
Chinato (kee-NOT-oh) is an "aromatized wine," whose origins in Italy trace to the 1800s, but the practice of infusing alcohol with herbs and spices goes back to the very first distilled beverages ever, to ancient Egypt and the medieval Middle East, where medicinal herbs, flowers, roots, and spices were preserved for healing properties.
As with all chinati, Vajra's family recipe is a secret, but common among them is the addition of bittering cinchona bark (from which we get quinine and the beverage's name – chinato). One also picks up hints of clove, juniper, vanilla, rosemary, and star anise in this woodsy, smokey, bittersweet apéritif. Great for sipping on its own, this Chinato is also superb in mixed drinks. Substitute Chinato for sweet vermouth for an absolutely original take on a Manhattan or Negroni.
Even the finest vermouths use a low-quality base wine to mix with flavors. What makes this unique is that the base is wine is DOCG Barolo red wine, an extremely high quality product which adds a multilayered complexity, depth, and richness to the product. Totally organic and zero artificial additions – ZERO caramel color in this (which is often used to deepen color in cheaper vermouth).
Once opened it should be consumed within a month or so; store it in the fridge between nips.