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When I am going to review a product, I’m eager and apprehensive. If I’ve nothing favorable to say, I forget the review.

My apprehension was unnecessary with my bottle of Vino Cotto by Montillo Italian Foods. I’ve taste tested it, cooked with it and treasure it in my kitchen. It’s terrific. I had no idea what Vino Cotto was, But, I learned.

In the Calabria region of Italy, Vino Cotto is the name for this a cooked grape syrup which is naturally sweet. In other regions of Italy, it is known as vincotto. The Montillo family is from the Calabria area and making this syrup for four generations, so this specialty is Vino Cotto.

They say you can pick up the flavor of figs, plums and raisins. I could get the figs and plums when I tasted 1/2 a teaspoon–straight. I’m glad I didn’t taste raisins as they are not my favorite.

As sweet as Vino Cotto is, the natural sweetness comes from close to three pounds of premium wine grapes used to make a 8.5 ounce bottle.

Most of the delicious sounding recipes on www.montilloitalianfoods.com are for desserts. But there are a couple of good chicken recipes and I’ve included one.

The website suggests salmon but I decided to experiment. I tested it a couple of ways. I was steaming some fillet of sole and put 2 tablespoons of Vino Cotto with 1 tablespoon of water and 3 fillets. The flavor enhancement was subtle but effective. I also took a shortcut–a package of Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto. I added 1/2 cup of shredded parmigiano reggiano and 4 tablespoons of Vino Cotto. I drizzled a little on top of each serving. It added a nice touch. Norm loved it.

I can see using this as a marinade, in sauces or salad dressings. I’m definitely going to try some of the recipes on the website. I also think it would be great drizzled over baked brie.

Pollo con Vino Cotto

(Chicken with Vino Cotto)

Recipe by Montillo Italian Foods


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves each about 6 oz. (dice to bite-size pieces *optional*)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 oz. Vino Cotto di Montillo


1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat.

2. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste and brown 6 to 10 minutes or until done.

3. Pour the vino cotto over the chicken, lower the heat and continue to cook for about 1-2 minutes until sauce begins to bubble. If necessary, adjust sauce consistency by adding 1-2 tablespoons of water.

Serves 4.

Try this recipe using pork chops, sirloin tips, or salmon steaks. Adjust the cooking time needed for each, then savor the flavor. Delicious!

Buon appetito!

At this point, it is only available in a few gourmet stores. Good news, you can order it online. I think you like it and I would appreciate your feedback when you try it.

I enjoy doing these reviews and hope you like reading them. It is always fun to learn about new products on the market.

Big Blend Magazine
Member: Society of Professional Journalists

“Success” was Indie Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards