Chinato – an aromatized and fortified wine usually based on Barolo – has created quite a stir around the store. We’ve always loved Cappellano’s, and tried a few others here and there, but an offer of many vintage Chinatos illuminated the fact that these spirits show quite well when cellared like their mother-wine Barolo. The intense, bitter, quinine bark flavors mellow and become a more harmonious part of the drink. Also, like world class dessert wines, the sugar becomes less “sweet” tasting and shows more rich-bodied character. Which brings us to Rovero’s delicious Barolo Chinato. For under $35 a bottle, I’d highly recommend stashing a couple of these away for a later after-dinner surprise. It may not be the Technicolor, herbal rollercoaster that Cappellano is, but it’s a very fine stand-in at an incredible price. John Rankin
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