Vino Cotto – A Small But Rich Indulgence in Abruzzo

Vino cotto, also known as “cooked wine,” is a wonderful dessert-style wine that you sip in small glasses that dates back to Roman times and remains ever popular in Abruzzo!

It is made by slowly reducing and concentrating grape must (unfermented grape juice) that has been simmered for up to 12 hours and then aged in oak or chestnut barrels for a minimum of 5 years.  Even today you will find clay ovens are created each year to cook the wine that used to be proudly kept for wetting a newborn’s head and the bottles made that year of birth were used as part of the dowry inventory.

Vino Cotto

When made with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes the result is a thick, dark ruby-red sweet syrup with flavours reminiscent of raisins, figs, quince and caramel. Vino cotto is often used in Italian cuisine to give a sweet and fruit depth to for example roasted meats, served with cheese or a quick indulgent drizzle over desserts to add a rich and complex flavour profile.    At a recent Life In Abruzzo pop-up, a big hit was Azienda Agricola Recchiuti Massimo’s aged Vino Cotto which was served with Fattoria Gioia’s artisan goat cheeses.  A vegetarian recipe that I  am enamoured with was inspired by  Taste Abruzzo, a vino cotto and walnut pesto, you simply add a few spoons into the mix to dress pasta and is even good on bruschetta – here’s their recipe.

Vino Cotto Festivals

You can try this delicious elixir, Vino Cotto in Abruzzo at a small but interesting festival in Contrada Terranova, a frazione of Roccamontepiano (CH).  It serves delicious dishes sweet and savoury that all use ‘Cooked Wine’ organised by the  Associazione Produttori Vino Cotto d’Abruzzo.

If you go to the Contrada Terranova Vino Cotto festival our suggestion is to do the easy hike to the nearby hermitage San Bartolomeo in Legio which is usually run in conjunction with the festival, then head to the village for refreshment!

Read More about Vino Cotto

Read about how to attend this year’s festival here
Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.


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