An essential guide for beginners and enthusiasts alike to the tasty world of grappa, with an A-Z of small growers and larger distillers.
This Italian pomace brandy has taken the world by storm over the last several years, as those who appreciate other brandies and whiskeys have come to appreciate the subtleties of this drink and the high-quality grappas now handcrafted by a select few distillers.
Despite grappa's favored place today in the most exclusive bars, its origins are humble. It was created primarily to avoid wasting the pomace-the skins, pips, stems, and pulp left over from the wine-making process. The pomace was then distilled, yielding a clear brandy often considered too fiery and inelegant for sophisticated palates. But as boutique bourbons and single-malt Scotches became trendy, and as high-quality vintners and distillers began to handcraft new brands of grappa, it was ready for a revival.
Winner of a Gold Medal from the Gastronomical Academy of Germany, Grappa chronicles the history of this distillate-which by law can be called grappa only when made in Italy-followed by a discussion of what distinguishes it from other pomace brandies made elsewhere. The authors carefully explain each step of making grappa, from the vine to the often beautifully handblown bottle, and explore production on every scale, from the man who cooks his small-batch pomace over last year's leftovers to the largest producers in the country. Along the way they also impart a great deal of useful information about the Italian grapes, vineyards, and wines that are an integral part of the grappa-making process.At the heart of the book are two A to Z listings: one of the vintners who make grappa, usually on a small scale, and the other of distillers. These sections encompass an impressive variety and number of grappas, with tasting notes that are both informative and evocative. Concluding the guide are useful explanations of how best to serve and even cook with grappa, followed by a concise glossary and a helpful selection of internet sources for additional information.