Sunday, March 10, 2013

Punt e Mes - A Classic Red Vermouth

A benchmark Italian red vermouth that is both (thrice?) pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet, and completely delicious.  The formula was developed in 1870 in Antonino Carpano's bar in Piedmont, and the distinctive 15-herb recipe is still a family secret.  Punt e Mes was made by the Carpano family in Turin until 2001, when Distillerie Fratelli Branca of Milan bought it. Punt e Mes is vermouth in its finest form.  I enjoy it by itself with an orange peel and a single, 2 inch craft-cocktail ice cube.  It also adds polish to a wide variety of classic cocktails.  The label looks like a funky 1960's Italian movie poster.  Could easily form the foundation of a vermouth bar concept that I am currently seeking investors for.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Di Giovanna Grillo (2009) Sicilia

A delicious everyday white from Di Giovanna, a 100 hectare (56 under vine) organic estate located almost at Sicily’s geographic center, above the city of Sambuca.  The winery is run by fifth generation brothers Gunther and Klaus Di Giovanna (Sicilian father/German mother).  The wine is 100% Grillo-a variety in the past used to be blended with Chardonnay or Inzolia but here proves that it can stand all on its own. Aromas of pineapple, peaches and grapefruit (watch your drug interactions) Stainless steel fermentation and aging.  Brilliant acidity.  Goes well with anything you would squeeze a lemon on.