Barolo Chinato: Dark Chocolate Partner
How would you feel about a dessert wine described as “traditionally drunk for medicinal purposes to guard against fevers and stomach upsets”? How about one described as bitter and sweet, infused with quinine bark and cardamom?
Via twitter, Stefano Poggio (@Batasiolo_US) suggested the winter weather in Minnesota might be a perfect opportunity to try Barolo Chinato. I was initially reluctant, but now I’m a total convert. You don’t even need Minnesota winter weather to enjoy this lovely dessert wine!
Here’s what you do:
- Find a bottle of Barolo Chinato at your local shop. You might need to ask, as it could be over in the spirits, near the vermouth.
- Grab your favorite dark chocolate. Our is “Salty Dog” from our local chocolatier, B. T. McElrath.
- If you’d like to add a couple of other flavors, try almonds and craisins.
Giulio Cocchi Barolo Chinato ($35 at South Lyndale Liquors)
Eye: clear, slightly warm red, still translucent in the center.
Nose: Spicy, herbal cardamom nose with red fruit, not raisiny or oxidyzed at all.
Mouth: Nice & sweet with a touch of bitterness. Reminds me of Campari. The bitterness is a nice match to the bitterness in the dark chocolate.
Barolo Chinato Background
Here’s a little more information about Barolo Chinato from the Giulio Cocchi website:
“Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato still follows the traditional recipe: Barolo DOCG wine (100% Nebbiolo) is infused with the bark of the Calissaja Quinine tree, rhubarb roots and cardamom seeds as well as a secret blend of herbs and spices before being laid down for lengthy maturation.
The first thing you notice is the complexity, your nose picking up bitter and honeyed characteristics at the same time. Roasted orange peel, cloves, cherries, eucalyptus and dried figs are all present. These flavors evolve on the palate into a battle of bitter versus sweet characters that coat your tongue; rhubarb, date, sultana, cloves, Five Spice and orange bitters are all present to give a lovely warm mouthfeel. An incredibly long, intense finish that is both dry and sweet and will leave your mouth watering for more.
50cl, ABV 16,5%”