Barolo Chinato is a fortified wine which was traditionally drunk for medicinal purposes to guard against fevers and stomach upsets, but also gifted as a sign of hospitality. Today it is more commonly used as a digestif and is a wonderful way to round off a meal, as well as being unbeatable with chocolate. Cocchi's Barolo Chinato still follows the traditional recipe: Barolo DOCG wine is infused with the bark of the Calissaja Quinine tree, red china, rhubarb root, gentian and cardamom seeds, as well as a secret blend of herbs and spices, before being laid down for lengthy maturation in old Barolo casks.
Pronounced key-knot-o. To begin with, this specialized wine product will not appeal to every wine drinker out there. But for those of us with mature palates, and those who appreciate the natural flavoring agent that gives tonic water its distinctive bite (quinine), a glass of Cocchi's Barolo Chinato is not a vinous experience you're likely to soon forget! In addition to quinine bark, rhubarb, gentian and a final addition of somewhat secreted spices, including cardamom seed, are added to this pleasantly bitter tipple, which ranks up there with Fernet Branca as the world's best digestivo.