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vincotto

'cooked wine'

Sweet, highly reduced, unfermented grape juice, similar to mosto cotto, first made by the ancient Greeks as a sweetener. Used in desserts and many other recipes, or as a condiment. Puglia's Salentine peninsula is famous for it. Some vincotto is made into agrodolce vinegars—the Mezzogiorno's answer to balsamic vinegar. It's delicious drizzled over baked figs. Also see saba.

Vino cotto can also mean a drink, barrelled for a year or more after production and similar in taste to a Madeira. In some regions where the grapes have a low sugar content, it would be mixed with wine to give it a boost. Vino cotto can also be 'cooked' wine, similar to but far more 'grapey' than vin santo; look for it in Loro Piceno, 'the capital of vino cotto' in the Marche, where it's aged in oak barrels for ten years.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: slubeta