Cucielo is a small vermouth producer in the Piedmont region of Italy. The name Cucielo comes from the cuckoo bird which is also seen on the bottle label. Cielo means sky in Italian. It is a tribute to the bird that travels twice a year from Europe to Africa, the length of the country of Italy. Cucielo’s vermouths are largely hand-made, from handling the herbs used for flavoring to choosing the wines. The use of plastics has been avoided in the production and also organic cotton has been used in the production of the bottle label. The main herbs in Cucielo Rosso are wormwood, yarrow, gentian, Sicilian bitter orange, vanilla pods and clove. A 0.75 liter bottle cost €16.90 in Latvia.
The color of vermouth is dark brown, similar to dark rum. The nose is fruity and spicy. Orange, raisin, cloves, caramel and a little black pepper. In the taste, spices stand out the most, especially clove and the light bitterness of bitter orange. There is sweetness in the taste, but it is a bit drier than Rosso vermouths in general. Sweetness level is perfect and the wine is very well balanced. Overall, the taste is very pleasant. Cloves play a big role and dominate especially at the beginning. In the aftertaste, orange, vanilla and light peppery nuances come out better. The aftertaste is long, pleasantly spicy and slightly bitter. Cucielo Rosso is a vermouth that I liked to enjoy sipping neat or with a little sparkling water. It’s so high-quality and well-made that I wouldn’t have wanted to use it in cocktails at all. Excellent Rosso and definitely worth the price.