EMILIA ROMAGNA’S SPIRITS
The grapes of this fertile region yield a range of wines, brandies, grappas and serve as a base for liqueurs.
Emilia Romagna’s brandies were simple generic products generally used in informal restaurants and bars. Exports to other parts of Italy were small, and abroad, even smaller, until in 1949 when an agreement was reached with France to elimination misleading term of cognac from the label.
Emilia Romagna’s brandy is distinctly different, aromatic, amber in colour and soft. The amber shade originates mostly from the caramel added after blending.
This region’s brandies must be aged a minimum of one year but practically all distillers bottle after three or more years of aging at 37.5 to 43 percent alcohol by volume.
Grappa’s history in Emilia Romagna can be traced to the era of the arrival of the technique to distill. This coincided with the accidental discovery of distillation of Arab scientist in southern Spain.
Emilia Romagna’s grappas have been prized since the beginning, as they are aromatic, and much softer than those produced elsewhere in Italy.
Young grappas should be served at 11 – 13 C and those barrel aged 1t 15 – 16C.
Nocino, a specialty of Modena, is world famous and appreciated for centuries It has been ad continues to be a symbol of legendary hospitality of Modenese ever since it was created.
The best quality walnuts of the region are selected and macerated for several months in alcohol. After pressing, sugar and water are added adjusting the alcohol content. The liqueur is then aged for a minimum of three years. Nocino contains 42 percent ABV when bottled.
It should be served as a post prandial beverage and cool at 12C.
Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu