WTN: Cocchi Barolo Chinato
The Cocchi Barolo Chinato didn't make sense. Oliveto put it on their list of dessert wines, but Barolos are big, robust, dry reds you drink with osso buco. When the waiter brought the bottle, the label said it was from Asti, but the famous city and the vineyards of Barolo, a pretty and well-heeled hilltop town, sit 30 miles apart from each other.
Melissa and I asked the waiter about the clash of concepts, and he dove into the restaurant's database for answers. The Asti-based producer buys Barolo wine and adds quinine. And rhubarb. And gentian. And secret spices. (K & L's web site says "secreted spices." I hope that's a typo). "Ah," I said, "it's like vermouth, but with Barolo."
And I didn't like it. It had raging aromas of menthol and cumin, anise and tobacco, It had a medicinal taste and a bitter finish. Melissa, who didn't mind it, compared it to gin. She wonders if I prepared myself for a dessert wine and ended up reeling under the very different digestivo. Maybe in a different context, with different expectations, I would like the wine more. But I won't rush to the store to add it to my rack.