How and when to taste a good grappa
Unique aromas and flavours to sharpen and stir your senses
There’s no wrong time to enjoy a Trentino grappa. But there are certainly some tips and hints that will help you get the most from its fragrance, aroma and taste. Whether you sip it with friends, after dinner or for a celebration, and whether it’s a white grappa or barrel-aged, remember to use the right glasses. Basically that means a tulip.
A tulip glass is a small goblet with a gently rounded base and narrowed neck. It funnels up the grappa’s aromas and fragrances without drowning them in the alcohol’s volatility. After pouring, hold the glass by its stem. This is no stylistic affectation: rather, it helps to avoid warming up the drink, evaporating more alcohol and losing aromas in the process.
To fully appreciate everything that’s going on in a good grappa, hold the glass slightly away from your nose and take a short sniff. Try to make out the subtleties without inhaling too deeply. On the palate, the only golden rule is not to gulp it down in one; there’s a whole world of nuance happening in that glass, and this way you can appreciate the complexities much better.
Take your time, sip it slowly, and roll it around your mouth to stimulate all the taste buds as they respond to the myriad flavours. Follow these simple principles and you’ll find endless delight in the details of this noble, prestigious spirit.
Mixology. Back to the old ways?
In the dim and distant past, lunch usually concluded with coffee and grappa. After draining your cup, you poured in the grappa over the last few drops of coffee, a tradition still known as el resentin.
Stretching a point, maybe, we can say this was the earliest use of grappa in mixology – the art of mixing your drinks. Grappa is actually an ingredient in a great many cocktails, of both the pre- and post-prandial variety. These new uses spring from several influences, including an emphatic shift in popular tastes driven in part by mixology-fuelled trends.
In honour of that fine tradition, the Marzadro distillery has created a full-flavoured cocktail informed by old customs and new inspirations in both its ingredients and its name: the Resenton. It’s easy to make but delicious to drink. For one person, you need 5 cl of Chardonnay grappa and 3 cl of coffee liqueur. Simply take an old-fashioned glass with lots of ice, pour in the grappa and liqueur, and mix gently (as cocktail tradition demands). It’s ready to enjoy straight away!