Anyone had this wine? a Barolo Chinato

I pulled this out of a recent thread I posted regarding “15 Italian Nebbiolos” because this was so unique and IMHO, awful, I had to wonder what others have experienced. Id like to think we had a bootle variation, but the more I research how this is made and what it is made with, Im not so sure. For those who have had a good experience, please enlighten me.

NV DON G. CAPPELLANO BAROLO CHINATO SERRALUNGA dALBA- Ive never had anything quite like this, at least intentionally; it reeked of a medicinal character and was mindful of something my mother forced me to take in early childhood although I did avoid gaging with this one; some investigation indicates this is made with quinine, herbs and spices among many other ingredients with some sugar added in; the history states this was concocted by a pharmacist to use as a medicinal remedy; I wholeheartedly concur as I completely forgot about any ailments I might have had immediately after tasting; its called the Bitter Barolo; thats a compliment; there was a strong hit of fennel, cardamom, mint, and basil with fennel winning out; a little sip will do you forever and now Ive had my one. Ill be good mother.

Do you like Campari? Amaro?

Haven’t had the Cappellano but have had the Vajra. I love the stuff. It’s a great digestif.

I’ve had the Schiavenza and really liked it. Not something I’d reach for often, but happy to have a bottle to consume as a digestif on occasion.

Yes, but I do not recall either. Its been a while. Im thinking they had to be better or i`d remember as I will never forget this one.

Wish you would have been sitting next to me so I could have shared the rest of my pour. I did read where it was made to be useful as a digestif. Since I almost gagged, it would have served that purpose as I would have lost all my lunch and no more digestion process would have been necessary.

I’ve not had that one, but the couple Baroli Chinato I’ve had are tasty. Not wine, per se, but as others have mentioned a digestif made from Barolo.

I Chinato believe you didn’t like it.

groan [wink.gif]

I’m always intrigued by people’s first reaction to Barolo Chinato. Easily the majority seem to give a “WTF?!?!!” and a single sip is all they are prepared to taste. A minority take to it straight away. For me the first sip was definitely a shock, and it wasn’t instant joy. However trying it again, I started to enjoy it, and these days I really love this and the herbal digestivi / amari of Italy.

Not the same flavours, but with some similarities, I do also like the soft drink ‘Chinotto’, which typically looks like coca cola, but has an appetising bitter twist to dry the finish. The colour achieved IIRC via caramel, and it’s good to see a few producers making very lightly coloured versions, that to my tastes are better for it. Favourite at the moment is Borea e Rossi from Liguria, whose Chinotto has only the faintest of colour. They also do a quite remarkable Basil drink “Basilicato” which does really capture the flavour of basil leaf very well. Most of the time I’ll make do with San Pellegrino’s Chinotto / Chino, which is pleasingly bitter for a commercial drink. There are even local stockists now, whereas I’ve always been ordering online from UK importers.

One final thought to those that like Gin. A forumite on another forum has been enjoying Gin and Chinotto instead of Gin and Tonic. Maybe worth a try?

BB, what were the thoughts of your friends that tried it also? Was it universally panned?
I wonder if there’s one herb that you react to, like for some cilantro tastes like dishwashing soap.

Well, Blake…Chinato is kinda an acquired taste. I’ve exposed my tasting group to a number of them. Some are like you and recoil in horror at the smell & taste.
Others kinda cock the head…“This is unusual”.
The primary component of Chinate is quinine. If you drink a whole bottle in one sitting, you’ll never have to worry
about malaria again in your life. It is usually finished w/ a lot of sweetness to cut down on the bitterness of the quinine.
It reminds me a lot of the Buckley’s Cough Syrup my Mother would give me when I had a cold & coughed a lot.
That stuff was soooo foul tasting it’d often make me barf…stopping the cough for awhile.
I’ve often served Chinato w/ chocolates…with some success.

Of that genre in Italy, there are also Amaros. I would recommend you try some of those exotic beverages and you might
find them a bit more palatable than Chinato.
But Chinatos have their place in the grand scheme of things.

Great match with chocolate or chocolate dessert.

I posted my own thread on Barolo Chinato a while ago. It is essentially a Vermouth made with Barolo wine. It tends to come off a lot heavier than Vermouth, though, with some intriguing chocolate, cherry and tar notes to go along with the bitter medicinal flavor.

Like all similar biiter and sweet herbal wines and liqueurs it is definitely an acquired taste due to the main flavoring being quinine which is where the medicinal taste comes from. Absolutely no reason to feel bad if you don’t like it. This said, I agree you should try Amaro and would add at least one high end Vermouth and one other Barolo Chinato before giving up on the category completely.

Blake – Perhaps you should try some of Cappelletti’s amaros – the one made with tree sap and mountain flowers (Elisir Novasalus) or, better yet, the one derived from smoked Chinese rhubarb (Sfumato Rabarbaro).

After those, I bet you’ll find Barolo Chinato yummy!

I got to try this Chinato at the same tasting where Blake tried it. Classic Chinato, one of the better ones I’ve had. I was originally introduced to them by Tom Hill, and quickly acquired an affection for this style, though admittedly one I only indulge infrequently.

I don’t think the Santa Barbara Wine Guys were quite ready for it . . .

I recall my first taste of Barolo Chinato quite well. Someone explained it to me before I sipped, but still my mind was thinking more “Barolo” than anything else flavor-wise and so the taste was a shock nonetheless. I’m still not much for the Campari/Amaro thing either, but every once in a long while (typically at dinner in Alba when I’ve overindulged) it’s intriguing for its digestive benefits…

CJ, most of those who sat near me were not fans. I sat next to the guy who brought it and he obviously was and I tempered my remarks accordingly as I know he loved it.

I think it just was the unexpected deviation from drinking so many fine wines to go to this AND it was not nearly as bad as Im playing out with this. Would I taste one again, probably. Would I purchase this for my cellar, probably not. Having said all of that and to be clear, Im really not a big fan of super sweet wines anyway and when presented with one, I usually have just a sip or two. That is even true for my birth year d`Yquem.

Thanks Tom. I shall be open to future opportunities and give them a try. I also understand there are vast differences from one to another. I need to ask my friend who brought this if this was a typical bottle.

Tran, I got it. Thanks for your suggestions. I`m open to trying some of these. I know, I overreacted to this first time exposure and am getting over it.

OK, Ill give it a go. Yummy! That seems like a real stretch, but Ive made some other major shifts in mu life and who knows, maybe I could even become a fan of quinine laced sugar cubes.