43% Alcohol (86 Proof)
Unless you're currently living in Italy or the surrounding parts of Europe, you probably think of Grappa as something of an enigma. And that it is... well at least to most people. Some people compare it to "vodka with some flavor," others to brandy, but what is it really?
Grappa is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in Italy and is made from the pomace, or leftover byproducts of making wine (skins, seeds, stems, etc.) which are then fermented and distilled into a high-proof spirit. However, some of the newer distillers are breaking the mold, including Germain-Robin's Grappa, which made from the entire grape, juice and all. This gives Germain-Robin's Grappas a distinct edge over old-school Grappas, in that they have more flavor.
Germain-Robin's Zin-Syrah Grappa pours very clear like vodka. It smells of juniper and the darker fruit notes you typically associate with Zinfandel and Syrah wines. You sip and get white pepper, honey sweetness, mineral water, an interesting saltiness, and a fairly smooth, complex finish. Like all of Germain-Robin's offerings, the lingering smooth finish is really what sets this apart.
Grappa is meant as a digestif, or as an after-dinner drink meant to help digestion. I had it after dinner as it is intended. Did it help my digestion? I'm really not sure, but it was certainly a treat. It's great to try something like this that's far from mainstream, yet so interesting and tasty!
Drink This: if you want a taste of Italy that's made in California.
Don't Drink This: if you want bold flavors and typical American liquor flavor-profiles. Germain-Robin's Zin-Syrah Grappa is complex, yet subtle and easy-drinking. Definitely worth trying.