Very well done Vin Aperitif that we can highly reccomend.
Notes : They produce and also import a number of diverse but worthy products among which are: Creme de Violette, Creme de Menthe, Gran Classico Bitter, Voyager Gin, Abbots Bitters, and a number of Artisan Absinthes; Vieux Pontarlier Emile Pernot, Duplais Vert, Duplais Blanche, Pacifique, and Mansinthe.
In the same family ( roughly as vermouths, Lillet, and assorted other aromatized and fortified wines – which means wines with herbs and extra alcohol added)
Kina L’Avion d’Or is a more regional Alps-Provence style of Apertif wine using a white wine base made from the Piedmont-grown Cortese grape is infused with Cinchona bark, Orange Peel, Wormwood and other exotic spices an aroma of quince and fine marmalade, with a complex, mildly bitter taste that teases the tongue as its well-balanced sweetness prolongs the finish. .They have now moved on to tackle other products that bartenders and mixologists moan and pine for such as this Pimento Dram.
Their Kina liqueur is one of the many products that were part of the wide range drinks and cocktail ingedients people used to drink back when frankly there was more interest and diversity in cockof while useful and necessary when people made what are now considered classic cocktails and cared about ingredients that fell into disuse and then oblivion as cocktail culture declined. Aperitifs in particular did not really survive the temperance/prohibition movement and died out in the early 20th century and existed only in small pockets of civilization till recently.
Thankfully this trend has reversed itself and people like Ted Haigh ( who wrote the seminal book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails ) and a host of others spearheaded the recreation ( in many cases using samples from long ago ) to resurect long gone ingredients.This is one of those ingredients.
Made from Cortese Grapes from the Piedmont Area,Cinchona Bark, Wormwood, and a host of other exotic spices it is a lovely melange of flavors.
Appearance: Lovely golden hue to it, The color of a good baltic amber or ripe wheat.
Taste: Lovely sweet start for the briefest of moments then a nicely pleasant waterfall of bitter spiciness. They have achieved a skillful balance of the cinchona bark,wormwood, gentian and whatever other bitter herbs (baerwurz?) and the other spices. Nicely counterbalanced is the sweetness from the Cortese grapes (almost as sweet as a Sauterne or Barsac it seems) and a very pleasant (if you enjoy bitters like I do) alternative to the usual players, Indeed I will replace them with this in my liquor cabinet !
Drinks: By itself as an aperitif, a stand in for vermouth or Lillet, Corpse Revivers, 20th Century or Corpse Reviver #2 . Their Vesper recipe was good but frankly we would use less vodka because it dilutes the Kina a bit too much – because we enjoy the L; Avion d; Or so much .
Other : An Aperitif wine – something very much overlooked in the United States in general
Bottle: Heavy clear glass bottle with thick decanter type bottom, short neck and gold neck wrap. Attractive Belle Epoch graphics and antique style bottle harken back to an earlier age. Overall a beautiful and thoughtful presentation.
Cigars : A small shade grown or natural wrapper like a Hemingway Short Story as you watch the sun set.
Final Thoughts: Very well done Vin Aperitif that we can highly reccomend. Well made, balanced and lovely to taste or just contemplate in the bottle or glass beforehand.
Quick loading website- with decent amount of information and history, where to order (always important), press articles and updates. With all this, somehow still relatively easy-to-navigate.Only downside is the page is mostly flash and it is hard to print or copy anything (such as recipes).