Monday, October 16, 2006

Scotland v Italy

My recent 9 nights in a row of drinking grappa (and all the years up until now) have given me an idea on how the grappa experience varies in Italy and Scotland. Here I compare the two using various categories and mark each out of 10.

  1. Quality – In my experience you tend to get a decent quality grappa when dining in Italy although occasionally a variety that is brewed in the mountains and strips the tastebuds from your tongue will be served to you. In Scotland good quality grappa is available although usually you have to know where to go to get it. Italy 8 Scotland 6.
  1. Quantity – I don’t think I’ve ever had a small measure of grappa in Italy whereas in Scotland there is a tremendous variance in the quantity served up as one measure. I’ve had substantial measures in some restaurants (and even a second measure on the house) but in others the measure was so small it had almost evaporated before I’d even tasted it. Italy 10 Scotland 7.
  1. Cost – The most I paid for a grappa on my recent trip to Italy was 3 euros. In Edinburgh restaurants the cost is typically between £2.50 to £4 although I have been fleeced £6 for a grappa. The fact Scotland has to import saves the country getting a smaller mark. Italy 9 Scotland 6.
  1. Surroundings – I’m really talking about sitting outside drinking a grappa as a nice restaurant can be in any country in the world. I think the only Scottish outside grappa I’ve had was on Leith Walk in Edinburgh which although I love it, ain’t no Via Nazionale. I’ve also drank grappa in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, beside the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in the Piazza Napoleone in Lucca and of course outside Onesti’s in Barga. Bit of a no contest really. Italy 9 Scotland 3.
  1. Waitresses – As an unashamed admirer of Italian women it is a major bonus when an attractive waitress brings the grappa at the end of the meal. However the scores here are a lot closer than you might think as a lot of Italian restaurant owners in Scotland employ family or Italian students to give a restaurant a more authentic Italian feel. If it wasn’t for the diners ordering broo-sheh-ta or tag-li-telly you could almost swear you were in Italy. Italy 9 Scotland 7.
Overall grappa score out of 50: Italy 45 Scotland 29.

The case for moving to Italy gets even stronger.


Travel Italy said...

I am with you about the women. Grappa and a beautiful "femina" is a heavenly match.

ginkers said...

I think you could have evened things up a bit more with the following categories.

1) Freezing your nuts off and thawing out with a grappa. Scotland 9 Italy 5.

2) Catching out people who boast of their drinking prowess by letting them down it in one. Scotland 8 Italy 2.

3) Toasts made with it to a Rangers defeat. Scotland 10 Italy 0.

Brian said...

Oh there's a shock Italy outscores Scotland, a shape of things to come? I don't suppose you brought back any spare grappa to replace the bottle you finished to make it 9-in-a-row? ...... thought not :)

PS Ginkers who needs grappa to toast a Rangers defeat?

martinobhoy said...

travel italy

Too true amico. Wise words indeed.


Yes, I've done all 3.


Yes I did bring back a nice bottle and the next time you are in Edinburgh I will repay the favour.

The only difference is that you will get a full glass ;o)

a.c.t said...

I had flagons of the stuff on Friday night which my boyfriend's auntie brought back from Brindisi. Everytime my back was turned, my glass was filled. It was pointless trying to explain to her that it shouldn't be drunk like water. Surprisingly my head was totally clear the next day.

ginkers said...

ACT - That is one of the magical qualities of grappa. At least so I try to tell my wife when I drink a bucketload on Thursday night. "I'll be fine in the morning, I'll be fine in the morning..."

martinobhoy said...

I think the grappa respects those that respect it. I'm usually fine if I stick to wine and grappa but throw in a beer or two during the evening and I can feel a bit shonky in the morning.

ginkers said...

It never shows, Martino, it never shows...