Friendly Vino Noceto in Amador County is renowned for its excellent, award-winning Sangiovese wines. But did you know that the Sangiovese grape is also showcased in a lesser-known artisan product available at the winery? Vino Noceto’s Grappa di Sangiovese, produced for the winery by St. George Spirits in the Bay Area (http://www.stgeorgespirits.com), is an intense, fruity, high-alcohol distilled beverage that’s best enjoyed after dinner – either relished as a shot; or added to an espresso (which, in Italy, is known as a caffè coretto, or a “corrected coffee”).
Smooth, aromatic and bracing, this lovely beverage is distilled from Shenandoah Valley Sangiovese grapes; and is packaged in an attractive, slim glass bottle. To serve the grappa, it’s recommended by the Instituto Nazionale Grappa (the body that represents many of the grappa producers in Italy) that it be poured in a small tulip-shaped glass with an open rim, rather than a “balloon” or narrow glass.
The winery offers a recipe for a luscious-looking chocolate grappa cake, which I plan to make if I can bear to set aside 1/3 cup of grappa from my current bottle.