TAG: Grappa

White, aged or barrel-aged? How to taste the different types of grappa

The typical essence of Italian tradition

White, aged or barrel-aged? How to taste the different types of grappa

Date of publication: 26/10/2022

Grappa represents the Italian spirit par excellence. To be tasted, like true connoisseurs, by itself as a sipping bitter after dessert or paired with chocolate. In order to be defined as such, grappa must, by law, be produced in Italy. In fact, all grappas are created from the distillation of the pomace of Italian grapes, that is what remains of the grapes after being subjected to vinification.

The different types of grappa

When we talk about grappa, we often use different terms due to the fact there are different types of which the most famous are the white, aged and barrel-aged grappa.

What makes grappas different in colour and taste are the production processes, the grape variety (or vines) of the pomace used and the possible ageing in wood, therefore it is essential to know the different types of grappa and the right steps to taste them at their best.
Grappas are also distinguished on the basis of the region of origin and between single-variety and multi-variety grappas, that is from the pomace of different vines, such as the Grappa di Amarone, obtained from the pomace of Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes, the main vines of this great Veneto red.

The white and young grappa

With a harmonic and delicate flavour, white grappa, also called young, is not subjected to ageing at the end of distillation but is instead transferred to glass and steel containers to rest briefly before bottling. For this reason, this grappa is colourless and is also the one that best transfers the aromas of the initial grape variety of the pomace to the final product.

Did you know that there is also a type called young aromatic grappa? It is the one deriving precisely from an aromatic vine, which transfers its aromas to the glass, as in the case of Grappa di Moscato. Not to be confused with flavoured grappa which is simply enriched with herbs, roots and essences.

Aged or over-aged grappa

Unlike white grappa, the other types of grappa provide for ageing, a period of ageing in wooden barrels of any type and size, which helps to transfer further peculiarities of taste and colour to the grappa. In particular, we can distinguish:

  • aged grappa: the minimum period of ageing in wood is 12 months and is characterised by warm and deep aromas, as in the case of Grappa di Barolo Invecchiata;
  • the reserve or over-aged type: the ageing period in this case is extended to 18 months. It has soft and spicy aromas, such as the elegant Grappa di Pinot Grigio Riserva.

Grappa aged in small oak barrels: the barrel-aged grappa

Barrel-aged grappa, unlike aged grappa, is subjected to an ageing period of at least one year in unique small French oak barrels with a capacity of 225 litres, known as barriques, which give the grappa its softness and roundness.

How to taste the different types of grappa

Each grappa has its peculiarities, but how to taste each type at its best?

  • Serving temperature: a young grappa should ideally be served between 9 and 13°C, while an aged grappa should be served at around 17°C. The Giordano grappa info cards show the ideal serving temperature;
  • Grappa glass: to appreciate all the aromas of grappa you need the right glass. Taste the barrel-aged grappa with a Harmony glass or in any case one larger than the typical glass with which grappa is tasted, more suitable for the young type;
  • Temperature of the glass: it must be at room temperature and it’s best to hold the glass of young grappa by the stem, in order to avoid evaporating its aromas. For aged grappas, on the other hand, you don’t need to follow this precaution as warming it up helps the palate to better appreciate the aromas;
  • Don’t put your nose in the glass: the high alcohol content of grappa would affect tasting as this would limit the sense of smell, preventing you from truly appreciating the aromas of the grappa.

Now that you know how to best taste this essence of Italian tradition, choose among the different types of Giordano Vini grappa and taste them like a true connoisseur!

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