Grappa And DeMille

We have just discovered Nelson DeMille and we really like what we have found.  We picked up The Charm School at the library and it was a great story of Communism and spies.  We gave The Gate House from the same library run to the Gloves-in-law but it was too big a volume for her.  Nelson tends to run 500-600 pages.  We started The Gate House but realized that The Gold Coast came first so we switched over to that and are finding joy in mid-life John Sutter and old money.  As a New Englander we recognize the commonalities of the Gold Coast and The Cape.

Nelson’s books are great on details like flying helicopters or the old rich on Long Island.  That’s why it is so surprising when Frank (The Bishop) Bellarosa, a mafia don, says grappa is like brandy and sips it.  Well, it is kinda like brandy.  Brandy is distilled wine.  Grappa is, as the Rome File says:

The main ingredient of grappa is pomace, which consists of the grape skins, seeds and stalks that are left over from the winemaking process. These are taken through a second process of distillation, which extracts the remaining flavours from the pomace before the waste is discarded.

So grappa is distilling the remnants of the wine making process while brandy is distilling wine.  It is not sipped as the Rome File says:

Grappa is a wonderful way to end a meal, drunk either as a shot on its own or added to an espresso (in which case it’s known in Italy as a caffè coretto, or a “corrected coffee”).  [Emphasis added]

The Rome File is consistent with our guidebook.  When traveling you want to know these things.  Throwing back vodka shots and eating pickled herring help cement relations with the Poles.  It is a small complaint and we haven’t finished this otherwise wonderful book.  Perhaps Frank will act differently while enjoying grappa with his countrymen.

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