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Chinotto: taste test
Chinotto: taste test

The chinotto is a small plant grown in the western Ligurian Riviera, with particular mention for the chinotto of Savona present in the part of the Riviera between Varazze and Finale.

Similar to a small orange, with a bitter and sour taste, the fruits are used for candied fruit and syrups, but the most famous derivative is carbonated drink, dark, cola-like in appearance.

The origin is uncertain: some argue that it was invented in 1932 by the San Pellegrino, which today is the main producer, others that have been produced by the company Blacks of Capranica starting from 1949.

For some years now, the protagonist of a relaunch that leverages the nostalgia effect (vintage-marketing), often in transparent glass bottles with a vaguely snobbish design, with austere-like labels and 50s graphics, the chinotto is back in fashion after years of oblivion.

Today it is an accepted cult among lovers of soft drinks on which the Tasting test of Dissapore returns after a first episode of 2011.



St. Benedict



San Pellegrino

chinotto blind tasting
chinotto blind tasting


Visual aspect

Olfactory analysis


Taste analysis

The test was carried out blindly and the drinks were tested at refrigerator temperature.

# 5 San Benedetto (D)

chinotto san benedetto
chinotto san benedetto
chinotto san benedetto
chinotto san benedetto

Judgment: A failed product.

Packaging: Not very eye-catching, with the wording "zero added sugars" in evidence.

Visual aspect: The darker colored chinotto, very present froth.

Olfactory analysis: Very weak, almost absent olfactory perception.

Effervescence: Lazy. Far from the standards of a fizzy drink.

Taste analysis: An unpleasant bitter note prevails. The Chinotto is not perceived at all. Very short persistence.

Price: € 0.70 (75 cl)

Value for money: The price is really too low and the quality suffers.

In short: Chinotto WANTED.


# 4 San Pellegrino (B)

San Pellegrino bent down
San Pellegrino bent down
San Pellegrino bent down
San Pellegrino bent down

Judgment: The Chinò seems to have improved compared to previous tastings.

Packaging: Direct and minimalist on a total black background.

Visual aspect: Very dark.

Olfactory analysis: Weak nose, the chinotto is barely recognizable.

Effervescence: Well present, perhaps a little intrusive.

Taste analysis: Balanced flavor, the finish gives us a strange metallic aftertaste.

Price: € 0.90 (50 cl)

Value for money: Favorable.

In short: A reliable and cheap product, but don't ask for miracles.

VOTE: 5 and ½


chinotto lurisia
chinotto lurisia
chinotto lurisia
chinotto lurisia

Judgment: Lurisia, main protagonist of the relaunch of chinotto, offers her very personal interpretation. Very interesting.

Packaging: Edited, highlights the use of chinotti from the Savona Slow Food Presidium.

Visual aspect: It clearly stands out from its competitors due to its amber color.

Olfactory analysis: Spectacular nose, very present and delicate. Bouquet characterized by a clear note of chinotto and hints of caramel.

Effervescence: Measured, perhaps a little weak.

Taste analysis: The chinotto note is very pleasant, but is distorted by an excess of sugar. Overall it is thirst-quenching but sweet.

Price: € 1.50 (27.5 cl)

Value for money: Great.

In short: A very different chinotto from its competitors. To try.


# 2 PLOSE (E)

chinotto plose
chinotto plose
chinotto plose
chinotto plose

Judgment: Excellent version of the Plose house, too bad it is difficult to find.

Packaging: Tall, narrow glass bottle, simple graphics with a black and white chinotto.

Visual aspect: Tending to black. Moderate foam.

Olfactory analysis: Slightly weak nose, but we perceive a fresh note of chinotto.

Effervescence: Too sluggish.

Taste analysis: A bitter note of chinotto emerges first followed by a slightly sweet aftertaste. Long persistence and moderate acidity make it very thirst-quenching.

Price: € 2.00 (25 cl)

Value for money: Price adjusted to the quality of the product.

In short: A product that satisfies us from every point of view.

VOTE: 7 and ½

# 1 BLACK (C)

chinotto blacks
chinotto blacks
chinotto blacks
chinotto blacks

Judgment: A timeless classic.

Packaging: Proudly vintage.

Visual aspect: Color halfway between black and caramel.

Olfactory analysis: Chinotto note well present.

Effervescence: Perfectly dosed.

Taste analysis: The bitter note of chinotto is the protagonist, but affects the overall harmony of the flavors. The sugar dosage is perfectly balanced.

Price: € 1.20 (20 cl)

Value for money: Amazing.

In short: Casa Neri since 1949 continues to give us the quintessential chinotto.



Unlike previous tasting tests, the superiority of the three chinotti belonging to the higher price range was immediately clear. The use of better fruits and in greater quantities, in addition to glass as a storage material, made the difference.

Among the best, we were somewhat disappointed by the often excessive use of sugars which penalizes the thirst-quenching effect of the drink.

Who knows why, but despite the revival involving chinotto, the availability of certain niche brands, even in a metropolis like Rome, remains complicated.

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