Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Chinato 500ML
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 what's called an "aromatized wine." Chinato's origins in Italy trace to the 1800s, but the practice of infusing alcohol with herbs and spices goes to the very first distilled beverages ever, going back to ancient Egypt and the medieval Middle East, where medicinal herbs, flowers, roots, and spices were preserved for healing purposes.
As with all chinati, Fratelli Alessandria's family recipe is a secret, but common among them is the addition of bittering cinchona bark (from which we get quinine). 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. And if you're feeling decadent you can cook with it – after searing chicken or steak in a pan, add some butter to the fat, deglaze with an ounce of this stuff and let reduce for two minutes for the best pan sauce you could imagine!