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(Tales of the Cocktail)   Grappa is like wine's little brother. who gets all the unwanted and hand-me-down parts from the grape   ( talesofthecocktail.com) divider line
    More: Sad, grappa, Wine, Dry grappa, grappa maker, complement grappa, tobacco-infused Grappa, different grappa, experienced liquor enthusiasts  
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1182 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Aug 2017 at 6:10 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-08-07 06:19:00 AM  
static1.1.sqspcdn.com/You cant drink a toast with water!
 
2017-08-07 07:20:27 AM  
Bleah, no.  Tastes like grape seeds.
 
2017-08-07 07:55:09 AM  
Sorry, not an old Italian guy and it's not that good.
 
2017-08-07 07:57:39 AM  
Shiat is horrible. I'll bet better tasting elixirs have been brewed in prison cells.
 
2017-08-07 08:01:36 AM  
Lots of European countries have some equivalent of grappa, and they're all basically rubbing alcohol.
Greece is the worst though, because they have bloody raki and freakin' ouzo *and* they've farked up their white wine with pine resin. Thank god they have some half decent beers.
 
2017-08-07 08:15:52 AM  
shiat is nasty
 
2017-08-07 08:16:31 AM  
The worst hangover I've ever had by far was from grappa. It took 2 days for me to start to feel normal again. I had to just lie still. If I moved even slightly, waves of nausea would wash over me.  My hair hurt.
 
2017-08-07 08:17:24 AM  
Is this like Spirytus? We had that at a Polish restaurant. The waiter set fire to the table with it. Great night.
 
2017-08-07 08:23:34 AM  
I used to be friends with an Italian co-worker, until i insulted grappa. We were discussing national cultures and I brought up grappa, mentioning that, like Anerican whisky, there's utter crap and there's very fine, and asked if that was the case with grappa.
He's Italian, so you can imagine his response.
After he calmed down, I got him to admit that what was mostly served in restaurants (in Europe) wouldn't pass in Italy, so we agreed that the next time I'm in Italy, we'd meet up and sample some grappa.
Long story short? They all suck, even the ridiculously pricey ones. In all honesty, some have nice flavors, but are still just shy of Everclear when it comes to flavor complexity.

Of course I did not tell him these last parts.
 
2017-08-07 08:25:19 AM  

Jesus McSordid: Lots of European countries have some equivalent of grappa, and they're all basically rubbing alcohol.
Greece is the worst though, because they have bloody raki and freakin' ouzo *and* they've farked up their white wine with pine resin. Thank god they have some half decent beers.


Damn did I love raki when I was in Crete. Good thing they serve it in shot glasses the size of thimbles.
 
2017-08-07 08:25:58 AM  
If I like brandies, will I like grappa?
 
2017-08-07 08:26:33 AM  
But it makes a killer purple drank...
 
2017-08-07 09:09:16 AM  

DeaH: If I like brandies, will I like grappa?


Probably not without working at it. Grappa, for me, after a 5 course, 2-3 hr familial, fine Chianti drenched meal, was easy to warm up to. I am not a big drinker, but as an acquired taste, 25 yrs later I still indulge and love it. Thanks Jim D.!
 
2017-08-07 09:16:17 AM  

Jesus McSordid: Lots of European countries have some equivalent of grappa, and they're all basically rubbing alcohol.
Greece is the worst though, because they have bloody raki and freakin' ouzo *and* they've farked up their white wine with pine resin. Thank god they have some half decent beers.


don't say bad things about ouzo. it's like a dessert gin. ouzo in rootbeer is fantastic.
also, in college when i went to visit a lesbian friend in greece doing study abroad, her straight, redheaded, well-endowed roommate introduced herself by putting on tiny shorts and thin white tanktop, walking up to me with a deck of cards and a bottle of ouzo, and said "hi. i'm jane, i'm going to get you drunk". I looked at her and said "yes you are". My friend was busy a lot, but jane was happy to take me around and show me a good time.
So I have some fond memories of ouzo. don't mess with them.
 
2017-08-07 09:18:33 AM  

DanInKansas: Jesus McSordid: Lots of European countries have some equivalent of grappa, and they're all basically rubbing alcohol.
Greece is the worst though, because they have bloody raki and freakin' ouzo *and* they've farked up their white wine with pine resin. Thank god they have some half decent beers.

Damn did I love raki when I was in Crete. Good thing they serve it in shot glasses the size of thimbles.


I enjoy ouzo. I also like akvavit and black jelly-beans.
It's the whole caraway/anise/fennel/licorice flavor spectrum, I guess.

Yes, I'm weird.
 
2017-08-07 09:24:44 AM  

toejam: The worst hangover I've ever had by far was from grappa. It took 2 days for me to start to feel normal again. I had to just lie still. If I moved even slightly, waves of nausea would wash over me.  My hair hurt.


My experience too. I totally get that some drinks can be an acquired taste (peaty Scotch), but grappa just isn't worth it to me. It tastes and smells like nasty paint thinner and both times I tried it gave me a horrible headache within hours, the second time without even drinking much of it.
 
2017-08-07 09:50:04 AM  
media3.giphy.com
 
2017-08-07 09:52:24 AM  
You can get grappa on the Mediterranean coast.  After a nice meal, they bring a bottle to your table.  It's on the house.

I have been unable to get drinkable grappa anywhere else.  Outside the Med, they charge money for the stuff, and it tastes truly bad.

I think what makes it tasty is that it's normally complimentary.
 
2017-08-07 09:59:10 AM  
I was introduced to grappa in Italy, and tried it on my friends when I came back home.

Needless to say, I could always rely on that bottle of grappa to be untouched at the end of a party.  I kind of like it, but not so much my friends who would guzzle anything else (including cough syrup if need be) instead.
 
2017-08-07 10:06:14 AM  
I will agree that straight grappa can be nasty but some of the infused ones are terrific. Our Italian exchange student brought us some homemade grappa. He brought us cherry, vanilla, chamomile, chocolate and blueberry. The cherry was almost like drinking the juice from a bottle of maraschino cherries. A little goes a long way.  Vanilla was smooth, easy to drink. Chamomile was nasty, tea leaves in moonshine. Chocolate was OK but too thick, almost like chocolate syrup with a kick. The blueberry, though, was the best. There were berries in the bottom of the bottle, went down smooth. Would make a great substitute for syrup on your pancakes.
 
2017-08-07 10:32:36 AM  
I always thought of grappa as wines troubled older brother who was always needing to get bailed out of jail.

/As a teen my friends and I found a bottle of grappa once, I distinctly remember falling backwards down a flight of stairs and getting up at the bottom, completely unscathed.
 
2017-08-07 11:14:29 AM  

ThatGuyOverThere: ouzo in rootbeer is fantastic.


Most things taste better when they are drowned in sugar.
 
2017-08-07 11:24:19 AM  
I bought a bottle of this stuff once (whenever I go to bevmo, I get 1 bottle of something that looks interesting).

My nickname is 'Alex', and the bottle has a crown on it and has silver accents, how could 'Lord Argent' resist?

www.gaefers.de

After trying it once, it sat in the back of my liquor cabinet for 7 years until I was preparing to move

I didn't want to pack it, I also didn't want to just throw it away ... it was then that I figured mixing it 50/50 with grape kool-aid made it palatable.
 
2017-08-07 11:42:15 AM  
I've had it twice.  Once at a winery in Tuscany and the other at a nice Italian place in Philly.  It was entirely "meh" tasting, but I think I enjoyed it simply because I was out having a good time with friends.  I certainly haven't entertained the thought of ever buying a bottle.
 
2017-08-07 11:44:15 AM  

DeaH: If I like brandies, will I like grappa?


Totally different product.

Brandy is made from first wine, so you get the flavor complexity of the full clean wine that was made from prime fruit and was taken off of the Lee's/desedimented.

Grappa is made by steam distilling the crap leftover in the bottom of the vat after fermentation, so all of the prime flavors have already been carried off with the clean wine while all the sediment and grape skins and dead yeast are left behind. Grappa was literally the product the winehands drank because they couldn't afford anything else and wanted to get drunk as soon as possible(not waiting for a second fermentation to occur)

The superior byproduct is eau de vie, which is similar in that you use leftovers - but you referment it and take your product off of the pomace prior to distilling so you're distilling a clean product and you don't carry flavors from the sediment and dead yeast.

For eau de vie, after you make your first wine, you take the already fermented grapes, add 1/2 the volume of water as the first run, and add a LOT of white sugar to give the yeast something to eat.  This is called second wine, it's a lot less flavorful, less colorful, less aromatic, less complex, and less body than your first wine. Distill this and you get eau de vie.
 
wee
2017-08-07 12:19:19 PM  
I've tried about a dozen different grappas and not one has been any good. Though I'll drink a peaty scotch or a brandy any day.
 
2017-08-07 12:48:49 PM  

fastfxr: Long story short? They all suck, even the ridiculously pricey ones. In all honesty, some have nice flavors, but are still just shy of Everclear when it comes to flavor complexity.


None of this is true.  Some grappas are absolutely beautiful.  They taste like fresh hay and wildflowers.  You just need to find grappas that aren't distilled to 70% alcohol.

Jiacopo Poli's grappas aren't even made from pomace.  He uses whole grapes that he grows himself.  They're fantastic.  Anyone trying to get into grappa should start with Sarpa and Miele.

www.poligrappa.com
 
2017-08-07 12:59:40 PM  

Thingster: Totally different product.


No, grappa is technically brandy.  The differences between the two are merely stylistic, not intrinsic.  Not all grappa is made from "used" pomace.  The producer I mentioned above uses whole new grapes with the seeds and stems included for the character they bring.

Just because a product had humble beginnings doesn't mean it will always be a second class spirit. There are many extremely fine grappas out there.

Thingster: The superior byproduct is eau de vie,


In France, the term "eau de vie" refers to pretty much any generic distilled product.  Outside of France, it refers specifically to brandy made from fruit other than grapes.
 
2017-08-07 01:01:29 PM  
The only time I had a good Grappa was when a client took us to some Italian Restaurant a few miles from the Orlando Convention Center.  Don't recall the name of the restaurant or if it is even still there.
It was not a hole-in-the-wall joint, it was in a big Strip Mall.

Anyways at the end of the meal, the owner had us try a number of Grappas, starting with the cheapest one and ending with the most expensive, which would have been about $30 a shot.
We were just sipping out of tiny glasses but the first rounds were very "grapey" and tasted like vodka.
The final one was incredibly smooth and was the closest thing to "ambrosia" that I had ever tasted.

Every Grappa I have had since then tastes like crap (as others have pointed out)
 
2017-08-07 01:10:37 PM  
Grappa is best first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with coffee, or after a really big meal.

Any other time better to use it to resurrect sultanas into boozy grapes.
 
2017-08-07 03:03:48 PM  
I once farked up with a translation over in Italy and instead of ordering the sweetest grappa on the menu ended up going the other direction and getting the driest. Holy crap that was an eye-opener. Just like drinking pure burning
 
2017-08-07 03:11:04 PM  

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadu: It was entirely "meh" tasting, but I think I enjoyed it simply because I was out having a good time with friends.  I certainly haven't entertained the thought of ever buying a bottle.


That's my experience. Grappa tastes like turpentine, but I've only had it with a crowd of friends so it gives fond memories.
 
2017-08-07 03:14:06 PM  
I never liked wine and am not crazy about liquor so grappa tastes like rubbing alcohol harvested from the Devil's urethra to me.

/grumpy fark, but I still try things people offer
 
2017-08-07 03:34:12 PM  

Z-clipped: Thingster: Totally different product.

No, grappa is technically brandy.  The differences between the two are merely stylistic, not intrinsic.  Not all grappa is made from "used" pomace.  The producer I mentioned above uses whole new grapes with the seeds and stems included for the character they bring.

Just because a product had humble beginnings doesn't mean it will always be a second class spirit. There are many extremely fine grappas out there.

Thingster: The superior byproduct is eau de vie,

In France, the term "eau de vie" refers to pretty much any generic distilled product.  Outside of France, it refers specifically to brandy made from fruit other than grapes.


And here we go.

All fruit distillates are brandies, but when someone says Brandy we're talking about distillate from a first run grape wine.  When talking about a non-grape Brandy people add the fruit name and say (fruit name) Brandy.

In Italy to be grappa it must be distilled off of the pomace.  If water is added it's a acquavite d'uva.  You can call it grappa outside of Italy, but that doesn't make it grappa.

In France eau de vie is a general term for alcohol, in the US it's a distillate made from non-grape wine.

None of this changes the point that grappa was meant to be a fast, cheap, easy product to get drunk as a winehand with no real consideration given to drinkability.
 
2017-08-07 04:17:08 PM  
We're going to see this with every regional variant of "we distilled what we had into something we could use as paint thinner" because other countries are bummed about the attention single malts, bourbons, tequilas, and now gins are getting from the rich hipster crowd, squawking about "a new pleasure" and dropping ridiculous sums of money on stuff that used to be both enjoyable and accessible by those of us not looking to impress others.

Just wait. We'll start seeing "single-barrel grappas" and "heirloom grappas" and "small-batch grappas" and whatever other marketing bullshiat can be attached to them. The quality won't go up, mind you - just the friggin' price.
 
2017-08-07 05:50:37 PM  
Thingster:

The superior byproduct is eau de vie, which is similar in that you use leftovers - but you referment it and take your product off of the pomace prior to distilling so you're distilling a clean product and you don't carry flavors from the sediment and dead yeast.

For eau de vie, after you make your first wine, you take the already fermented grapes, add 1/2 the volume of water as the first run, and add a LOT of white sugar to give the yeast something to eat.  This is called second wine, it's a lot less flavorful, less colorful, less aromatic, less complex, and less body than your first wine. Distill this and you get eau de vie.


Nope. Not even close. I mean seriously not even on the same continent. And in most countries eau de vie is not made with grapes.
 
2017-08-07 11:03:41 PM  
One of the best boozy cakes I've ever had was laced with grappa.  Devil's food cake, with extra cocoa powder, raisins, pine nuts, grappa, and covered with chocolate ganache.  Damn that was tasty.
 
2017-08-08 02:59:26 AM  
Many Americans learned about Grappa after visiting Italy years ago - img.fark.net
 
2017-08-08 05:05:19 AM  

Thingster: And here we go.

[snip]


That's a lot of words that don't contradict or expand on anything I said.

Thingster:   None of this changes the point that grappa was meant to be a fast, cheap, easy product to get drunk as a winehand with no real consideration given to drinkability.

What grappa was originally "meant" to be is completely irrelevant.  It is now just as refined and high-quality a product as any other spirit, including brandy.  Continuing to characterize grappa as a slapdash product made from leftover wine pressings is ignorant and incorrect.
 
2017-08-08 09:54:21 AM  
Grappa is basically Italian moonshine made from grape leftovers from wine making, hence why the cheap stuff tastes like turpentine (like true backwoods moonshine).

But some people do fancy it up and make some quality stuff like other posters have mentioned.
 
2017-08-08 11:27:54 AM  
Was iffy on grappa until I went to Bassano del Grappa in Italy two years ago.  Had several outstanding grappas and it changed my mind.  Of course, when the town has "Grappa" in the name...
 
2017-08-08 03:22:57 PM  

shortymac: Grappa is basically Italian moonshine made from grape leftovers from wine making, hence why the cheap stuff tastes like turpentine (like true backwoods moonshine).

But some people do fancy it up and make some quality stuff like other posters have mentioned.


So maybe it's like tequila, except even more so? I have a personal rule to never drink cheap tequila, since I've had some that would turn your stomach on the first swallow.
 
2017-08-08 03:31:58 PM  

Mnemia: shortymac: Grappa is basically Italian moonshine made from grape leftovers from wine making, hence why the cheap stuff tastes like turpentine (like true backwoods moonshine).

But some people do fancy it up and make some quality stuff like other posters have mentioned.

So maybe it's like tequila, except even more so? I have a personal rule to never drink cheap tequila, since I've had some that would turn your stomach on the first swallow.


Maybe, but isn't this rule true for any booze or food, there is crap, medium quality, and then the "good stuff"?
 
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