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What is vincotto?

Vincotto wine grapes

Vincotto (or vin cotto) has been popping up all over the place lately! You may have run into a bottle or two at your local gourmet delicatessen or specialty food store. Literally translated from Italian the word vincotto means “cooked wine.” Vincotto is a rich dark condiment that is made from unfermented red wine grape must, which contains the skin, seeds, and stems typically from the Malvasia Nera, Negroamaro, or Primitivo grape varieties. Before the grapes are picked, they are allowed to wither naturally on the vine for almost a month. Once harvested, the grapes are cooked and reduced to about one-fifth of their original volume until it has a nice syrupy consistency.

Is vincotto thick and viscous?

Many people mistakenly believe that vincotto will be thick or viscous like honey and molasses, but that is not the case. Vincotto’s consistency is more like a simple syrup. It is easy to work with and has a smooth texture and flavor. If you need it thicker, you can always reduce it further!

How do you use vincotto?

Vincotto is incredibly versatile and is best used like you would a sweet, dense, aged balsamic vinegar. It has a unique richness and sweetness that compliments and elevates both sweet and savory dishes.

Here are a few tasty ideas:

  • Spoon it into savory dishes
  • Pairs beautifully with game, roasted meats, and poultry
  • Deglaze a pan with it for a rich sauce
  • Drizzle it over fresh cheese or fruits
  • Add it to a salad
  • Pour it over gelato or ice cream
  • Use it as a coulis

Is vincotto healthy?

Vincotto does contain quite a lot of antioxidants which can be beneficial to your immune system. It is also cholesterol free and shouldn’t contain added sweeteners, colorants, or artificial flavors (check your ingredient list before buying).

A true high quality vincotto:

  • Is alcohol-free
  • No added sugars
  • No preservatives
  • No artificial additives
  • No red wine vinegar

Vincotto is best stored in a cool dark place; it does not need to be refrigerated after opening, it has a long shelf life, and the flavors will improve over time (like a fine wine).

What are your thoughts on vincotto? Have you ever had it? What are your favorite ways to use it? Let us know in the comments!

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