Grappa is a high octane spirit in Italy that is made from distilling "pomace," a by-product of the winemaking process. Pomace is essentially the pressed skins and stems left over after the first vinification process. The name grappa is in fact a reference to this, as it means "grape stems" in an Italian dialect and has been around since the Middle Ages.
Tokaji Aszú … The world renowned Tokaj Aszú! Often referred to as just Tokaj (pronounced: toe-kai) . The most sumptuous and most delectable Aszú made only in one place in the world, Tokaj, Hungary; the region is Tokaj-Hegyalja. But what grape is it? It is usually the Furmint varietal, but can also be made from other indigenous grapes in Hungary. One of my favorite Aszú styles is made with the Hárslevelű varietal.
Yes, I’m partial to this new and ancient area, but I truly love the styles of wine coming out of Central Europe and it’s time for them to re-emerge on to the global market. It has already started in Europe and only a few gutsy importers are bringing them into the United States. Okay, I’m one of them, it’s easier to say gutsy than naïve. So why are Central European Wines the next big thing?