How Grappa is made

0

Grappa is a clear distilled Italian alcoholic drink made from what is left over after the wine-making process, that is the skins, pulp, seeds and sometimes, though not always, the stems. It is similar to the French Marc de Bourgogne. It is a testimony to the resourcefulness of winemakers that they can turn what would otherwise be waste into something special.

Grappa is aged in wood barrels – the wood can vary from cherry to ash to oak to robina for example, each giving a different quality and personality to the finished grappa. Lighter woods give the grappa a clear colour whereas yellow-hued grappas may have been aged in darker woods, like oak casks. So the colour of grappa often gives you a clue to how it has been aged, in what kind of wood and whether it will be rich or mellow.

Grappa is an acquired taste for some – it is a strong drink, like a brandy, and it can be quite bitter and alcoholic and that’s probably why it is often taken as a post-prandial after a meal as an aid to digestion. It is a much maligned drink with lower quality grappa sometimes being offered as a gesture after meals in Italian restaurants which can turn people off it, but it is worth revisiting the higher quality versions.

Grappa can vary hugely from producer to producer – some of the reliable names to look for when buying it include the family-owned Jacopo Poli from Veneto – they also have a Poli Grappa Museum showing the history of Grappa (https://www.poligrappa.com) and Bepi Tosolini https://www.bepitosolini.it.

Image copyright foodpixies.com

 

Related Recipes and Features

How to cook brussels sprouts all year round Brussels sprouts are not only a festive vegetable. Turn them into delicious dishes all year-round that are so far removed from the soft sludgy vegetab...
Baking Tips Many of us didn't learn baking at our mother's knee – here are some tips to help to fill those gaps. 1. USING YOUR OVEN TO BAKE – Position the o...
How to cook with orzo Orzo is a grain-shaped pasta – it is one of the most comforting foods to eat and can be boiled like other pastas, or cooked like a risotto. To boil...
How to mellow the taste of raw onions Do you ever find that the onions you use in a raw recipe taste too strong: here's a tip from Rick Bayless, the US chef, to mellow the flavour of raw o...
How to cook celeriac Celeriac has a delicate, nutty flavour and a silken texture when it is puréed. That makes it fantastic for soup or mash but it's also good to eat raw ...
How to toast nuts Toasting nuts before you use them in cooked dishes, in baking or in granola enhances their flavour. It also makes it easier to remove their skins. ...
Share.