What Is Grappa?

by sockii

Grappa is an Italian specialty, often enjoyed after meals, or with a shot of espresso! Learn more about the history of this unique wine-based product.

Grappa is a uniquely Italian alcoholic beverage - and one which can truly be an "acquired taste" for those who have not experienced it before. Grappa has in fact been around since the Middle Ages, and is traditionally produced from pomace: the discarded grape seeds, stalks, and stems that are byproducts of the wine-making process. While that may not sound especially appealing, a fine grappa can make for a wonderfully intense after-dinner drink or digestivo, sipped either on its own or used to fortify an espresso.

Italians have loved grappa for centuries, and today it is becoming more popular around the world as higher quality grappa is produced and exported outside of Italy. Different kinds of grappa can be interesting to taste or collect for their distinctive bottles and labels. You can also use grappa in cooking and different recipes much like wine or brandy. If you are interested in learning more about grappa, or perhaps shopping for grappa bottles, glassware or related merchandise, read on! I have collected some of the best grappa resources on the internet for you to enjoy and explore here.

Do You Enjoy Grappa?

Grappa is a grape-based pomace brandy, made from the residual byproducts of the wine-making process. It is similar to other countries' wine-based spirits such as Spanish orujo and French marc. It is 35%-60% alcohol by volume, therefore it tends to have a strong, sharp taste which may take some time to develop an appreciation for. The flavor will depend on the type - and quality - of the grapes which are used in its production.

As "Grappa" is a protected name in the European Union, to be called such the spirit must be

1. Produced in Italy, in the Italian part of Switzerland, or in San Marino,

2. Made from pomace, and

3. Fermented and distilled from the pomace with no added water.

It is enjoyed by Italians primarily as an after-dinner drink to aid in digestion. It can be served either on its own in a small grappa glass, or mixed in to an espresso for a "corrected coffee" (caffe corretto - my personal favorite way to enjoy grappa!)

Grappa originated from the Italian town of Bassano del Grappa, hence its name. Its rough nature - similar to American grain alcohol - made it for centuries a drink of the poor farmers and workmen who appreciated its potency for getting through cold winter months. It was not until the 1960s that grappa enjoyment began to spread and more care was put into producing finer quality spirits. Generally grappa is a clear, unaged liquid, although today their are producers making an aged-style grappa which can take on an amber or golden hue depending on the aging barrels used. Grappa is often packaged for sale in colorful, unique bottles, and can be found in many wine shops and gift stores throughout Italy.

To learn more about grappa, visit these links below:

Grappa Videos on YouTube

Learn more about enjoying this spirit

From explanations of its distillation to how to best enjoy the drink, you'll find out more about this unique spirit in these informational videos on YouTube

Books About Grappa

Grappa: A Guide to the Best

Grappa was originally created to avoid wasting the pomace left over from the winemaking process, the pomace was then distilled into a clear brandy. This text provides a brief hi...

$35.00  $26.46

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Grappa: Italy Bottled

The first substantive international text that takes on the quintessential beverage of the Italian culture. Grappa: Italy Bottled is two books in one. The first is a comprehensiv...

$34.95  $21.47

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Cooking with Grappa

Grappa Recipes On-Line

Even if you don't enjoy drinking Grappa on its own, it can be used in many different ways in cooking. Here are just a few recipes to explore, from jams and desserts to main course entrees.

Grappa bottles are often unique, decorative and quite collectible! Search eBay for unique designs for your home.

Grappa bottles on eBay

Great prices on collectible grappa bottles

ITALIAN GRAPPA LIBARNA WOODEN BARREL MINI BOTTLE. EMPTY.

Time left: 3 weeks
Current bid: $14.00  Place bid

Bertagnolli Grappino Grappa Brandy Bottle Clear Glass EMPTY Fo...

Time left: 1 month
Current bid: $3.00  Place bid

Gra'it Grappa Bottle Green Glass EMPTY Bottle Decanter Reuse D...

Time left: 1 month
Current bid: $5.00  Place bid

Poli Grappa Collectible Empty Bottle In Copper Can

Time left: 4 days, 12 hours
Fixed price: $5.99  Buy It Now

To properly appreciate grappa, one should use appropriately designed glassware. Search eBay for great deals on authentic, Italian grappa glassware.

Grappa Glassware on eBay

Serve grappa in elegant, appropriate glasses

Luigi Bormioli Atelier Grappa Glass, 2-3/4-Ounce, Set of 6, Ne...

Time left: 4 weeks
Fixed price: $63.59  Buy It Now

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Grappa Stemware, Set Of 6

Time left: 1 week, 5 days
Fixed price: $63.75  Buy It Now

BRAND NEW SET OF FOUR RIEDEL LEAD CRYSTAL WINE CHAMPAGNE GLASS...

Time left: 1 month
Fixed price: $80.00  Buy It Now

Luigi Bormioli Michelangelo Grappa (Set of 4), 3.25 oz, Clear

Time left: 1 day, 16 hours
Fixed price: $37.53  Buy It Now

More Beautiful Grappa Glassware on Amazon

Elegant designs perfect for enjoying this liquer
Luigi Bormioli Michelangelo Grappa (Set of 4), 3.25 oz, Clear

The Michelangelo Masterpiece Grappa glass s is made in Italy of Spark Break Resistant Glass. Luigi Bormioli's proprietary Spark glassware formula results in a glass that is both...

Only $27.00

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Bormioli Rocco Riserva Grappa Glasses, Set of 6

The fine tradition of the Bormioli Rocco Group coincides with the very history of glass: the first glassworks was established in Parma in 1825. The company has always demonstrat...

$20.92  $19.95

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Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Tossa Barware Collection Grappa/Liqueur Cocktail Glass, 4.6-O...

Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Crystal Schott Zwiesel – The world’s best crystal glassBuilt on a 130-year tradition of the finest German glassmaking, Schott Zwiesel is the most dura...

Only $71.99

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Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Grappa Stemware, Set of 6

Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Crystal Schott Zwiesel – The world’s best crystal glassBuilt on a 130-year tradition of the finest German glassmaking, Schott Zwiesel is the most dura...

$53.00  $50.35

View on Amazon

Luigi Bormioli Atelier Grappa Glass, 2-3/4-Ounce, Set of 6

Like all Luigi Bormioli collections, Atelier embodies Italy's gusto for the good things of the earth: our wines and foods that are uniquely Italian, but loved the world over. An...

$62.00  $53.02

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Lucaris Shanghai Soul Grappa Glass, 3.4-Ounce, Set of 4

Lucaris Crystalware features the clarity and elegance of fine crystal. It is designed with different stylish looks that can meet the visual expectations of many different social...

Only $32.59

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Is It Grappa Time Now?

Comments welcome below
Updated: 04/17/2015, sockii
 
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AngelaJohnson on 04/18/2015

I've heard of grappa and knew it was a drink, but nothing more. I learned something new today.

Mira on 04/18/2015

Nice article! I knew about grappa but learned a few things.

ologsinquito on 04/17/2015

I've always wondered what this was. Now I know.

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