Vincotto with fresh ginger and spices Tips and tricks for a perfect, tangy homemade “cooked wine”

Vincotto with fresh ginger and spices

What is vincotto?

Vincotto (also known as vin cotto) is a “cooked wine” made from unfermented grape must, slow-simmered until thick and syrupy. This flavorful condiment has been crafted in Italy and Greece (where it’s known as Petimezi, or “grape molasses”) since Roman times. Vincotto is wonderfully versatile and can be used as you would use a sweet, dense aged balsamic vinegar – spooned into savory dishes, drizzled on fresh cheese or fruits, poured over gelatos or used as a coulis…

Vincotto is fun and easy to make!

Of course, you can always buy vincotto, but I think it’s much more fun (and creative!) to make it in your own kitchen. All you need is a bottle of fruity red wine, a few spices and a little patience.

In this version, I reduce red wine with fresh ginger and spices. The result is a tangy, aromatic and succulent syrup that’s suitable for either savory or sweet dishes.

So here’s to vincotto… You’ll find that its uses are endless!

Recipe

Wilted radicchio with vincotto

Vincotto with fresh ginger and spices

makes 3/4 cup
active time: 10 min

  1. 3 cups fruity red wine (Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon)
  2. 3/4 cup organic sugar
  3. 2″ piece fresh ginger root – cut in 1/4″ pieces
  4. 1 cinnamon stick
  5. 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  6. 2 cloves

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until the wine has thickened and foams up. The wine should have a syrupy consistency, and should have reduced to one fourth of its original volume, about 3/4 cup. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Cook’s note: Refrigerate for up to 3 months.

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Fresh ginger and spices to make vincotto

condiment, red wine, cooked

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10 Comments

  • Reply Richard September 5, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Just used your recipe as the main ingredient in a marinade for a scotch fillet roast and then as a drizzle serving sauce. Heaven on a stick !!!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre September 25, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Oh, my! That does sound quite delicious! Thank you so much for your note!

  • Reply Michele Glemser March 6, 2017 at 12:15 am

    I would like to use some local honey in place of sugar. I know it will alter the taste somewhat. Have you ever tried using honey?
    My sweetheart is from So. Italy and he said as a child, they used to dip their Romaine lettuce in Vincotto and it was delicious!
    Would love to make some for him…but don’t want to go through the bother with cooking must…quite a tedious process.
    All of your recipes look fabulous.
    I just put up a batch of homemade Limoncello (Meyer lemons) all I have to do is wait!!!😉

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 10, 2017 at 1:36 am

      Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for your kind words, for your lovely comment and for your stories. Lettuce dipped in Vincotto sounds quite delicious! As for using honey, I have never tried that and I’m not sure how honey would do with such a reduction. Perhaps the best way would be for you to try the recipe both ways: one with sugar and one with honey and compare them both? I have a batch of Limoncello going as well… Life is good, no? Enjoy making your Vincotto!

  • Reply Mazza Barry June 10, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Does homemade Vincotto get better with age.?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre June 13, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      No it doesn’t, since it is a reduction. But it has heaps of flavor to begin with, so no loss there!

  • Reply mjskit November 24, 2014 at 2:55 am

    I had no idea what vincotta was and have certainly not had it. However, since I absolutely love a reduced balsamic, you can be guaranteed that I would love this reduction! Can’t wait to try it! Would something like a fruity Zinfandel work?

    • Reply Marian January 8, 2015 at 1:44 am

      Have been looking for a recipe for the wine sauce my grandmother drizzled over Carteddate, a Christmas cookie treat she made every year. She made her vincotto using fresh grapes after my grandfather made wine, but I want to try your recipe to see if it will do the trick. Will this sauce thicken up and does it have to be heated when I drizzle over the cookies? Thank you.

      • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 9, 2015 at 1:39 am

        Hi Marian, I can only imagine how delicious your grandmother’s vincotto must have been – I’m salivating at the thought! This vincotto will be quite thick when it cools. I would say as thick as honey. So it might be helpful for you to warm it slightly before you drizzle it on your cookies. Do let me know how it turns out… and have fun making your vincotto!

    Question or comment? I'd love to hear from you!