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!
Vincotto with fresh ginger and spices
makes 3/4 cup
active time: 10 min
- 3 cups fruity red wine (Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 2″ piece fresh ginger root – cut in 1/4″ pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 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.
- Cook’s note: Refrigerate for up to 3 months.