Veni, vidi, vici… Grappa!

Week 18 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously!  Grappa!

This week the virtual booze cruise takes us to Italy to drink grappa.  This, of course, presents me with another opportunity to regale you with stories about me doing stupid stuff on foreign soil!

But first, grappa…

Grappa is made from pressed skins and seeds of the grapes used in winemaking – the refuse of the process.  It is classified as a brandy and has been consumed for about seven hundred years.  The fact is – it’s ingredients are essentially the offal of wine. Thus the traditional consumers of the product tended to be the lower classes.  According to Jeff’s book: “But like every other food or beverage wth extremely humble beginnings, it’s evolved to invite even the most discerning connoisseurs.”  51fffcpqPZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Of course, there are rules as to what can be classified as grappa.  Like where it’s been produced, how it’s been produced, etc.  It is a distilled product, a spirit, not just fermented grapes.  And the distillation process has improved to the point where the end result is not the rotgut it was once reputed to be!

The traditional way to drink grappa is after a meal with a cup of expresso.  I don’t know about you all, but I can’t have caffeine after about 4:00 in the afternoon, or else I’ll be up all night (and not to get lucky) so that option was immediately off the table. Thusly, I drank it on the rocks.  (Go figure, right?)  And… was pleasantly surprised!  Maybe, because I like brandy?  I don’t know.

img_3412 Once again, I am at a loss to compare to anything else I’ve ever tried.  It doesn’t have a traditional brandy taste, it doesn’t taste like wine at all.  I even taste tested it alongside straight vodka, because, well… it is clear, after all. That makes sense, right?

Anyhoo…  I can sincerely recommend giving grappa a try.  You might not want to drink it on a regular basis, but after a nice Italian meal with some decaf expresso?  Why not?

My trip to Italy in 2009 was limited to Rome, Naples, and Pompeii.  Italy is one of those places which needs a month to properly explore.  I loved it.  Talk about the living la dolce vita.  The art, the history, the food, the wine, and most importantly — the people.

I never realized just how laid back Europeans are compared to Americans until I visited Italy.  My story is this:  it was a Friday afternoon, the sun is high in the sky.  We’ve been wandering around since lunchtime — The Pantheon, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, The Mouth of Truth…

(I am Gregory Peck to Harry’s Audrey Hepburn.  Actually, he’s pretending I’m some random stranger in this photo…)

Needless to say, with all this walking around and accompanying silliness, we worked up a thirst.   We found a lovely little cafe (not hard to find, they’re everywhere) to stop for a drink and a rest.  And inevitably I had to visit “il bagno” before we ventured on.  Fun fact:  some Italian restrooms are co-ed.  How forward thinking of them…  And the stalls  automatically sanitize themselves.  Nifty, right?  If only they warned you ahead of time…

Imagine my surprise when, upon exiting the stall of the bathroom, I…  a) get showered with a fine spray of disinfectant, because I stopped dead at the sight of… b) a really cute guy leaning against the sink waiting his turn!  Speechless, I stared open-mouthed until smiling, he shooed me out of the way.  I may or may not have washed my hands.  But hey, I got automatically sanitized so that counts, right?

Don’t forget to visit Lula and see if she conquered grappa!

28 thoughts on “Veni, vidi, vici… Grappa!

  1. Your potty experience sounds like an experience I had on a train somewhere in Europe, minus the sanitizer shower.
    Your grappa experience sounds quite nice. I’ll have to give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was limited to only one brand of grappa. None of the ones Jeff had recommended were available so I hope this provided an authentic grappa experience. The grappa bianca was actually pretty good. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Why didn’t you grappa the really cute guy? 😉
    Fun story, my parents went to Italy and they too said the same, you really need a month there!! I don’t think I would like co-ed bathrooms…hmmm!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man, grappa! What a way to ruin a nice meal. To me it tastes rotten. And it just seems to linger. My favourite thing from Italy on my last trip there was this lovely Tuscan tomato soup called Pappa al Pomodoro. It’s so easy to make and is just really satisfying.

    Although, this: “I never realized just how laid back Europeans are.” Does not apply to Londoners!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I drank grappa Bianca, perhaps a milder version? The best food is often the simplest- that’s what we appreciated about that trip, too. And maybe I should’ve restricted the “laid back” statement to the context of bathroom behavior!

      Liked by 1 person

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