How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (2024)


How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (1)

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!


Wilted radicchio with vincotto

Vincotto with fresh ginger and spices

How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (2)

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.

How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (3)

condiment, red wine, cooked


  1. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (4)

    Maria McLaren

    September 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm ·Reply

    Made this recipe with a nice bottle of wine that when I opened found the cork had dried and crumbled- and just wasn’t perfect for drinking- hating to waste the wine, I strained it and followed the recipe- which actually turned out wonderful! But yesterday as my family was making our yearly homemade wine, I reserved a bottle of the musto- which is currently simmering with the spices on my stove top. The aroma throughout my house is heavenly! Can’t wait to taste it!

  2. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (5)

    My mother. Made these Christian, she called them Rosetties. The dough was cut into strips with a ravioli cutter and formed into rose like. The wine syrup was make from the sediment of the barrel of homemade wine . The Rosetties were dunked in the wine syrup and stored in enamel pots until Christmas. Bella

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    July 16, 2019 at 8:26 am ·Reply

    A great recipe for vincotto the addition of ginger is an interesting twist

  6. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (7)

    Kim Quinn

    October 7, 2018 at 4:26 pm ·Reply

    I just watched an episode Pasta Grannies on youtube. Episode titled Pasta Grannies discover a wine harvest sweet pasta from Basilicatta. They explained the importance of vin cotto/vincotto. It was wonderful! Thank you for giving me direction’s of how to recreate this ingredient in my home. My friends are going to be SO happy!💜

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    September 5, 2017 at 8:45 am ·Reply

    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 !!!

  9. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (10)

    Michele Glemser

    March 6, 2017 at 12:15 am ·Reply

    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!!!😉

    • How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (11)

      Viviane Bauquet Farre

      March 10, 2017 at 1:36 am ·Reply

      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!

  10. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (12)

    Mazza Barry

    June 10, 2016 at 11:42 pm ·Reply

    Does homemade Vincotto get better with age.?

    • How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (13)

      Viviane Bauquet Farre

      June 13, 2016 at 11:12 pm ·Reply

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

  11. How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (14)


    November 24, 2014 at 2:55 am ·Reply

    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?

    • How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (15)


      January 8, 2015 at 1:44 am ·Reply

      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.

      • How to make vincotto | Recipe | Food & Style (16)

        Viviane Bauquet Farre

        January 9, 2015 at 1:39 am ·Reply

        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!

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Chef, farmer & photographer. I love to create exuberant, modern, seasonal, gourmet-yet-simple recipes. My motto: Flavor first! And... Food is love.

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