Essential Tips for Evaluating Grappa

Essential Tips for Evaluating Grappa

Types of glass

The ideal glass shape for tasting spirits is tulip-shaped, with a rounded bowl and a rim which is not too narrow in order to enhance the aromatic qualities of the distillate to the full. Ideal capacity is around 100-150 millilitres. Before pouring the spirit, it’s always good practice to check that the glass is free of extraneous scents which could interfere with the aromas of the grappa when conducting olfactory analysis.

Serving Temperature

The temperature grappa is served at is an important variable because it affects the evaporation of the aromatic components: a grappa that's too cold or too hot tends to hide its organoleptic characteristics. Young grappas should be served at a temperature between 9 and 13°C, while aged grappas are best served at around 17°C to allow the distinctive accents conferred by the aging in wooden barrels to be appreciated to the full.

Alcohol level

Grappas have an alcohol level of 37.5% ABV and upwards. It should be sipped slowly to avoid overwhelming the olfactory mucous membranes and the distinctive burning sensation in the mouth which would heavily detract from the quality of the tasting experience. It’s also advisable to pour out around 2 cl of distillate as this is ample to let you fully appreciate the distinctive qualities of a grappa, whilst also delivering the same quantity of alcohol that you’d find in half a glass of sparkling wine.