Sunday I was disappointed because I wanted to go to Vinitaly but it was just too hard to work out. We tried to make the best of it by keeping with the theme and visiting the wine country. Because all the winemakers would surely be in Verona for the event, it wouldn’t even be wine to stake out a winery. Luckily I spotted an advertisement for both kite flying in Barolo and a seperate Barolo Chinato/chocolate tasting at the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo. So we drifted over on over to Barolo!
Once we got to the enoteca, our senses were drawn immediately to the trays of dark chocolate ranging from 70% cocoa all the way to 99%! Then our eyes roamed over to the table of about 25 open bottles, each one available to try. How to choose out of so many!? I had never even tried Barolo Chinato.
The story of Barolo Chinato goes all the way back to the late 1800’s when Pharmacist G. Cappellano infused such a precious wine like Barolo with China Calisaya bark, to make a sort of elixir with medicinal properties. It eventually gained popularity as an aromatized wine with the addition of spices like rhubarb, cinnamon, cloves, and other alpine herbs. What is surprising to me is that very few wineries make this type of “digestivo” and it is rarely exported.
Personally I am not a big fan of these kind of sweet digestifs. But I must admit that the marriage of dark chocolate with this velvety smooth wine is a hedonistic pleasure!
Our first choice was Rivetto’s Barolo Chinato. Perfumes of cloves and cinnamon radiated from the glass and smoothed out as chocolate coated our mouths.
Although each winery has their own “secret” recipe, they are all quite sweet. When asked which one was least sweet, we were nudged towards Schiavenza. This was definitely more our style. Not overly spiced, with more of a stewed fruit aroma. It was softer and tasted just as good with dark chocolate!
It was no Vinitaly, but still a fun experience!
Enoteca Regionale Del Barolo
12060 Barolo, Cn