Thursday, August 09, 2007

A question of style

One of my new reader posed an interesting query recently. Not about the quality of grappa nor its quantity but rather the manner in which it is delivered. Namely - do you prefer a shot glass or a long-stemmed affair?

My gut reaction (how appropriate is that?) was to say long-stemmed. Having recently purchased one for a good friend's birthday and also received a set from my fine father, it seemed the only possible answer. It seems a fine way to take a grappa, perhaps with a pinkie pointing provocatively in the air.

But then I reflected for a moment on how it is dished out in the mountains. The rag is dragged from the top of the bottle and then any receptacle will do. A shot glass, maybe, the dirtier the better.

Still, I think, on balance I have come so far down the road of the long-stemmed glass that it is too late to turn back. I like the grappa that arrives like that. You can hold it up to the light, perhaps contemplate its colour - and then get fired into it. Some, of course, prefer a pint glass but there are very few of them alive to tell the tale.


martinobhoy said...

Long stemmed glass for me too (suppose I'd better say that!) because I'm such a sophisticate.

Although when you're sitting round a poker table at one in the morning a shot glass might be preferable.

Nicodemus said...

The point about the outstretched pinkie is spot-on. Grappa's essential magic is its lack of pretension. It's about as far away from the retired admiral cradling a cognac balloon in his London club as you can get. I have always felt a shot glass makes grappa more 'accessible'- especially when taken alongside an espresso (as indicated by the image on your site)Also a small measure - say 25ml - looks good in a shot and rather lost in a stemmed glass. For me, 50ml of a 50% abv spirit is definitely over the top before supper(well, on a weekday certainly) In my view, the stemmed glass is forever linked with the more recently introduced boutique grappa varieties. All dressed up with nowhere to go.

Brian said...

Here's one, follwoing the lead from my elders (and betters?) I bought some long stemmed "grappa goblets" the last time I was in Rome. Then I was recently on a business trip to Belgium and was in a nice little Italian resturant who served a range of grappas. When I picked a very fine muscato the waiter came out with the bottle and a "grappa goblet". He then poured a very generous measure up to the top of the goblet before transferring it into a "brandy glass" ............ So shot/stemmed or indeed Brandy glass?, needless to say it was on the company so I didn't care if it was a old chipped mug ;0)

ginkers said...


You are right to make the point about the circumstances. Certain situations dictate a certain type of glass.


I am with you on keeping the grandeur away from grappa. It's a mountain man's drink and should be treated as such. Just the same, I quite like the long-stemmed glass at the end of a meal. It just looks right.


A grappa goblet - that sounds like a recipe for disaster!