Category Archives: Grappa Nonino

Amaro Nonino @LincolnNYC_65th

lincoln restaurant new york michelin star

Above: “Eel and Foie Gras Terrine with Brown Bread and Apricot Mostarda,” a recent dish at the Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante in New York City (image via the Lincoln Ristorante Instagram).

One of the great things about Nonino products is that they are deeply appreciated by the top food, wine, and spirits professionals working across the world today.

We were thrilled to learn that Amaro Nonino is being used in a cocktail at one of New York City’s hottest dining destinations, the Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center.

It’s called the “Tramonto al Sud” (Sunset in the South).


Check out the Lincoln wine list and cocktail menu here.

Lincoln Ristorante
142 W 65th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 359-6500
Google map

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A WONDERFUL @Hawk_Wakawaka interview with Giannola Nonino

giannola nonino grappa

“A year ago,” writes this week Elaine Brown, aka Hawk Wakawka, one of the most dynamic wine bloggers working in the U.S. today, “a few of us were lucky enough to share two days with the Nonino family. The Noninos are the most well known grappa producers in Italy, known for a series of innovations in production that succeeded in raising the status of grappa worldwide.”

“While Benito Nonino distilled the grappa, his wife Giannola (above) developed many of the ideas, and packaging that helped raised Benito’s work to such prominence. Today their three daughters are thoroughly involved in running Nonino, and have gone on to continue the tradition of innovation and quality. After working on it for a decade, the three daughters succeeded at figuring out how to distill honey, for example.”

“If you don’t already know how grappa is made, you can check out my Behind the Scenes at Nonino piece over at Serious Eats, here.”

“While with the Nonino family, Cathy Huyghe and I asked Giannola to share more of her story. Jeremy Parzen translated. The following is a transcript of her story as translated by Jeremy. She begins by speaking of her family history as the foundation of the work she did for Nonino, as well as for how she raised their children.”

Click here to read this truly compelling interview with Giannola.

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New Nonino Cocktail Books are here!

Click on the images below to grab the PDF versions of the books.

The second one includes cocktails created by the three celebrity mixologists who visited Friuli and Nonino in October 2011.

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Amaro- and Grappa-infused sandwiches @salumenewyork

Photo via The Huffington Post. Text via Urban Daddy.

Cancel all lunch plans and make way for Liquor-Infused Panini from Salumè, just a few Italian sandwiches that also happen to be sauced up, available now.

This was inevitable. The polygamous marriage of mortadella, cave-aged cheeses you’ve got to pronounce in a hearty Italian accent and the distinct taste of the grappa dripped over the meat. Yes, dripped over. It’s not some complicated process of slow-cooking that burns off all the good stuff. They simply take a medicine dropper and make your sandwich alcoholic.

You’ve got a few options here. They’ve got one with Surryano ham and rye, and another with prosciutto, beets and scotch. There’s a crudo prosciutto with gin. Just taking home a couple pounds of the drizzled meat is another way to go. (Nothing goes with Kraft singles like gin-drizzled prosciutto.)

You’ll notice the booze more in some sandwiches than others, which obviously means that you’ll have to keep returning until you’ve viewed, wafted and expertly tasted each and every one.

Click here to continue reading…

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Nonino featured in Wine Spectator

Elisabetta Nonino and Distilleria Nonino are featured in the June issue of Wine Spectator: “A Grappa Convert” by Jack Bettridge.

Click here to download a printable (PDF) version of the article.

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When it comes to the grape pomace, it’s all about the freshness…

When you visit the Nonino distillery during grape harvest, you can smell the aroma of grape pomace as it arrives from the family’s partner-wineries.

“It’s all about the freshness of the pomace,” said Elisabetta Nonino (in the photo above) when we visited last October. “That’s the key to freshness in the grappa and aromatics that are true to the grape variety.”

Historically, the Nonino family has been the author of two major innovations in the production of fine grappa.

The first was that the family convinced grape growers and winemakers to keep the grape varieties separate. This allowed the distillery to make the first monovarietal grappa. In doing so, they were able to deliver a distilled expression of the grape that was true to the aromatic and flavor profile of the variety.

The second was the fact that, instead of waiting for the growers and winemakers to deliver the pomace, the Nonino family members went themselves to pick up the pomace as soon as the grapes had been pressed for vinification. At the time, the notion of treating pomace with such care was unthinkable. Today, thanks to the Nonino family, it is common operating procedure for all of Italy’s top distillers.

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Schioppettino, the grape that launched a revolution…

In the mid-1970s, Giannola Nonino (pictured left with mixologist Mike Ryan) helped to revive forgotten native Italian grape varieties when she launched the first-ever Nonino prize. The first winner of the award was the Rapuzzi family…

Anglophones love to say Schioppettino (here’s the entry for Schioppettino in the Italian Grape Name and Appellation Pronunciation Project). Perhaps it’s because of the variety’s purported onomatopoeic properties: some speculate that the name derives from the fact that the thick-skinned grape pops in the mouth when you bite into it; others believe that commonly encountered secondary fermentation and the resulting fizziness gave rise to its name (an early printed mention — 1823 — of the ampelonym is Scopp, according to Calò et alia).

As for the majority of Italian grape names, we’ll probably never know the etymon. But this lacuna doesn’t diminish our pleasure in saying Schioppettino (try it).

Above: In a tasting of roughly 15 Schioppettino producers from the township of Prepotto (the village where the grape is cultivated most famously), Pizzulin and Due Terre were standouts for me (the Due Terre entry was a blend of Schioppettino and Refosco). I also liked Petrussa and La Viarte. Here’s a link to a list of all the members of the Association of Prepotto Schioppettino Producers. The tasting was hosted by the Stanig winery in its restaurant/agriturismo and there is also an Enoteca dello Schioppettino worth visiting in Prepotto.

In many ways, Schioppettino and its revival in the late 1970s were precursors to the current renaissance of indigenous Italian grape varieties.

In 1976, the Rapuzzi family won the first-ever Nonino Prize — the Risit d’Âur or Golden Rootstock award — for its success in cultivating the forgotten grape. (Sadly, the wine they made from the 1975 vintage was never tasted because it was lost in the 1976 earthquake in Friuli, one of the many catastrophic events that shaped and defined the Friulian ethos in the twentieth century.)

In era when the great architects of the revival of “real wines,” Luigi Veronelli and Mario Soldati, were pioneering a new vinography that championed the indigenous over the international, Schioppettino was one of the earliest rallying cries. At the time, it was not authorized by the official “album” of government-sanctioned grape varieties and the Rapuzzi family risked a stiff fine and forced grubbing up. Lobbying by the Nonino family, combined with Veronelli’s patronage, helped to convince authorities to stand down. Today, the canonical rootstock for Schioppettino sold by the Rauscedo nursery is named “Rapuzzi”.

Above: In Prepotto, they pair Schioppettino with herb frittata, frico, and polenta. I think it could go with just about any type of comfort food. Photo by JC Reid.

Of all the tastings we attended in the Colli Orientali del Friuli last week, Schioppettino seemed to be the grape that excited the bloggers the most.

Was it because so little Schioppettino makes the Atlantic crossing?

Was it because the grape makes for juicy wines, with bright acidity and balanced alcohol?

Was it because of the grape’s signature spice, teetering somewhere between white pepper and cinnamon?

Maybe it’s because it’s just so fun to say Schioppettino

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