Barolo Chinato is an aromatised wine made from a base of Barolo, to which bark, herbs and spices are added. It is usually consumed as an after-dinner drink, either as a dessert wine or a digestif. It is also considered an excellent accompaniment to dark chocolate, or it can be served as an aperitif with soda and ice (similar to sweet vermouth).
Barolo Chinato is not a DOCG wine. However, only Barolo DOCG wines can be used to produce them.Barolo Chinato was introduced in the late 19th Century and famed for its medicinal purposes; it became the principal antidote to several ailments, especially the common cold. It was also consumed as a mulled wine for its invigorating qualities and as an aid to digestion.
Its production method involves the infusion of Barolo wine with quinine bark, which translates to china in Italian, hence the drink's name. Up to 21 other herbs and spices, including rhubarb roots, gentian, orange peel, cloves and cardamom seeds are also added to the mix.
The maceration takes place at room temperature for around eight weeks. The aromatised wine is then fortified to 16 percent alcohol and matured in small barrels for up to one year