When it comes to the colour of grappa, there are several factors that need to be considered. Italy’s ancient tradition of distilling Grappa from the pomace that remains after wine-making produces a variety of results. The age of the grappa affects its colouring. To a lesser extent, just as different blends of grapes produce wines in a range of flavours and colouring, so too does the variety of pomace affect the appearance and taste of grappa.
Types Of Grappa…
To properly understand the colour you should expect grappa to be, you need to understand the distinctions between its various forms. While there are many different types of grappa, the main factors that determines the colour of grappa is the extent to which it has been aged, how it has been stored, and (to a slightly lesser extent) what aromatic elements have been added to it in order to enhance its flavour. Grappa has a colour spectrum ranging from completely clear to a light golden colour.
The Grappa Colour Spectrum…
Young grappa that has only been aged for six month to a year is completely clear and colourless, like vodka. Not all grappa is colourless, however, as the length of time grappa is aged, and the containers in which it is stored in, can affect the colour of the spirit. The colour of grappa deepens as the blend ages. Older grappa and grappa that has been cask stored in wooden barrels develops a pale golden colour, similar to amber.
Diamonds Or Amber?
Grappa that has been aged well tends to be sweeter and smoother. Consequently, the amber colour is often an indication of what a particular blend of grappa will taste like.
Grappa has something of a bad rep for being a very strong, harsh drink that doesn’t taste great. This is in reference to the extremely cheap forms of grappa that are very young, and haven’t had chance to age.
At face value this would seem to indicate that colourless grappa isn’t going to taste good, and should be avoided in favour of the amber coloured forms. But distinctions in young grappa come, not in its colour, but it’s clarity. Like diamonds, high quality young grappa is flawless and completely clear.
There is without doubt a difference in taste between the diamond clear versions and the golden amber forms, but which you prefer will depend entirely on your personal tastes. The quality of the pomace has as much effect on the taste of grappa as the length of time it’s aged. High quality grapes produce grappa that is delicious even without ageing, and this is completely colourless.
If you like your grappa super sweet, a variety with a darker colour might well be for you. Clear grappa can still be sweet, however, so the best way to determine which you prefer is to try some! Grab a bottle of our deliciously sweet (and diamond clear) Dappa, and let us know what you think…