An Americano in LA

I began to really dig chinato when I met Mauro Vergano earlier this year. The former chemist turned his sights on wine and chinato and the world of fine beverages is most definitely better for it! What is chinato (kee-naht-oh)? Well, it’s a wine that is fortified and infused with herbs and quinine bark (china in italian). Throw some sugar and spices in there and let’s just go ahead and call it a magical potion of deliciousness.

Most chinato you see is Barolo chinato, made from nebbiolo grapes. But Vergano plays around with grignolino grapes for his Americano and moscato for his also amazing and not to be missed concoction called Luli.

The Americano is kind of like if sweet vermouth and Campari had a baby, which is why i think Vergano named this Americano; after the cocktail with those two main ingredients.* When tasting with Mauro, he preferred to have us enjoy the Americano on ice with sparkling water and an orange twist. I’ve already expressed my obsession with the spritz here on the blog many times ever since my first real encounter back in 2009. So you know any excuse I have to drink a spritz, I am DOWN.

My sparkling water was flavored with a hint of orange¬† (my favorite way to sneak in a bit more flavor) and I didn’t have any oranges around so I grabbed a grapefruit from my neighbor’s overflowing tree. I have to say the grapefruit aromas were pretty dope all up in this mix.

A bottle of Americano too can be yours for the sum of $40. Available at Domaine LA.

* this just in from Lou via Twitter….”Note: Americano not named after a cocktail but indicates a category of Italian ap√©ritif wine (e.g., Cocchi, Gancia).” Grazie Lou!

  • Kate
    June 19, 2011

    I recently was introduced to chinato and love it! I had it in a restaurant as a digestive, but I like the idea of having it as an Americano. I hope I can find the Luli distributed in Portland because that sounds pretty awesome.

    • whit
      June 19, 2011

      i hope you find it too! contact whomever distributes Louis/Dressner imports in Portland.

  • ileana
    March 2, 2012

    I’d never heard of chinato before, but it looks and sounds interesting! Did you get to try this one on its own?

    • whit
      March 2, 2012

      i have a bottle right now at my house. i try it on its own often! there are a lot of Chinato out there, but Mauro Vergano is really my favorite right now. he also makes a fantastic Moscato Chinato called Luli and a more classic Barolo Chinato.

  • Eric Lecours
    March 6, 2012

    I’ve been sipping this daily for the past week. It is the quintessential aperitivo, stimulating the appetite. For digestivo, Barolo Chinato neat (or amaro or grappa) hits the spot. Cappellano is classic, old-school Chinato.

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