Friday, January 29, 2010

atw - grab the grappa

I would like to start by saying that, yes, I have been a bit of a blog boob for the past month and a half. I've just felt so .... I don't know .... stalemate about everything, that I've just been drinking the wine without writing about it. I'm considering it a mini blog hiatus for my personal health. But I'm rectifying it, starting now. I have a need to share my love with all of you, and I will continue it faithfully.

So yesterday I had the privilege of trying something very unique. I tasted something very few Americans have ever tried before. It was, admittedly, not the best thing I have ever tasted - but to know that I'm one of a few who has ever tried it, I feel blessed.
This was a non-vintage grappa designed by a man named Armando Levi in Piemonte, Italy. This is no ordinary juice - this baby clocks in at 45% alcohol - or 90 proof, something that many vodkas will blush at nowadays. My boyfriend's dad, who showed me this wine, gave me the basic background story on what grappa is, since I didn't know about it. I thought I would pass it on to you.
Grappa is a unique Italian drink - it is not a liqueur, but it is not necessarily a wine either. It's closer to a brandy than anything else. It was first invented many centuries ago, when peasants were forced to produce wine for their reigning lords in order to pay their debts. There were never enough grapes left over to make their own wines, so they instead invented a method to create alcohol using the leftover skins and pits. They would put the skins and pits in a "still" and cook it, using the accumulated vapors to make a concentrated alcoholic beverage. The essence and concentrated alcohol that came from the vapors would then condense into the grappa.

Nowadays many Italians use grappa as a drink to cleanse the gut after a big meal. And boy, does it do the trick. When I first smelled this drink, the alcohol was immediately noticeable. It smelled raw, strong and potent. It cleared my senses instantly. Most of our dinner guests scoffed at it, but I was curious. When I tasted it (in very small doses, mind you, as it is extremely powerful), it was overpowering in its intensity. It was strong than absinthe in its flavor, which is difficult for me to say, as I always find absinthe to be extremely strong. The grappa had notes of honey, brown sugar and black licorice. There were also notes of nectarine and golden apples. According to Chris, this was a good grappa, but not a great one. I honestly had nothing to compare it to, as I had not tried it before.
Chris also told me that the reason this grappa was unique was because Levi, who is now deceased, personally supervised the production of all his wines until his death. In addition, he hand-designed all his labels. The grappa was selling for 150 euros in stores, which equals much more expensive in American dollars :).
On another note, I've been very busy this week auditioning for the Monterey Peninsula College production of Rent: the Musical. I auditioned partially on a lark, since I figured I might as well give it a try. Well, one week later, I am currently a top contender for the part of Maureen, the bisexual performance artist. It's a major role, the most highly sought after by all the women who auditioned. I've been so excited I haven't known what to do with myself! I'll find out next week whether or not I got the part - and I will definitely keep you posted! I've been updating on Twitter this past week because my mind has been so scattered with it all the 140 character limit has felt perfect. By the way, if you're not my friend on Twitter, please add me and I will add you back! I love Tweets!
I've also just finished obsessively playing Dragon Age: Origins. Seriously, I got freaking OBSESSED with the game. Below is the main reason why: the oh-so-adorable Templar Alistair. I just liked looking at him. Way too cute for his own actually-doesn't-exist good.

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