Browse Tag


Nonino, Nanette

Nonino Friuli Sauvignon Blanc Grappa (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Obvious, boisterous fruit, good balance, and nice to drink. But it’s far less interesting than grappa from many other grapes, at least from this producer. A parallel to many wines made from the same grape? Maybe. (10/07)

Bon Giovi

Giovi Grappa all’Ortica e Limone (Sicily) – Bitter, sour, sweet, and sweaty. Really complex, and yet harsh at the same time. It wants to be loved, but actual love is problematic. (2/07)

Pantelleria raid

Giovi Grappa Moscato di Pantelleria (Sicily) – Perfumed and stinging (in a good way), then softens and broadens, before narrowing to a more focused finish. (2/07)

Foggy dew

[label]Chinati Vergano Chinato Nebbiolo (Piedmont) – Nebbiolo from someone in Barbaresco, cinnamon, cardamom, rhubarb, quince, and more. Finely-honed and bitter, with weedy ash and leaves…but in a good way…and showing medium-bodied dark fruit throughout. (1/08)

Luli lulay, my little tiny child

[label]Chinati Vergano “Luli” Chinato Moscato (Piedmont) – Moscato from Bera, plus cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, cardamom, quince, and more. Fascinating, exotic nose, white chocolate, and while its sweeter than most chinati I’ve tasted, the balance is good. Exciting and fruity. (1/08)

Americano abroad

Chinati Vergano “Americano” (Piedmont) – Grignolino d’Asti (from cascina ‘tavijn), vanilla, kumquat, abisinthe, and other stuff. Sweet and bitter, with starched cherries and great balance. Fascinating. (1/08)


[bottle]Hofer “Zirbenz” Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps (Steiermark) – Yes, it smells like pine. Less like fresh pine and more like running pine sap, but pine nonetheless. Later, it warms to fresh pine furniture in a pristine showroom, or perhaps an aromatic pine log on a fire in a wood-hewn winter cabin. Smoke and a touch of cidery molasses dot the finish, but mostly this is about that warming, fascinating pine. Absolutely fascinating. (1/08)

White broth

[logo]Metté Bouillon Blanc Eau-de-Vie (Alsace) – Also known as fleur de molène, this is (if my investigations are correct) what’s known in English as mullein (Verbascum thapsus). It’s light, but quite floral and vividly spicy, yet a profound elegance remains throughout. It’s almost “pretty,” if one can call a 45-degree spirit that. (3/06)

Centenary island

Aquileia “Centenario” Grappa “Gran Riserva” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Oak-aged, and thus light brown, with enticing crushed flowers and a very elegant aroma. The wood smoothes things over to such an extent that I realize I prefer the more raw but more exciting clear form of this spirit. (10/07)