If I haven’t mentioned it here on Scordo.com my father is a dyed-in-the-wool grappa fanatic. In fact, he’s grown so found of the elixir made from sugar and grape stems he produces a limited quantity batch for his immediate family and select friends. So, it wasn’t with great surprise when I brought over a bottle of Amaro Nonino Quintessentia on a recent weekend that my father proclaimed it to be the best amaro on the planet!
For all of the amari novices out there (please don’t feel bad) Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is made from grappa infused with herbs, plus grain alcohol, and ingredients that include caramelized sugar, bitter orange, cinchona, galenga, gentian, liquorice, quassia wood, rhubarb, saffron, sweet orange and tamarind. And like many amari it’s a stew of exotic flavors and ingredients. My father enjoyed Nonino because the high quality grappa component (made from a blend of Ribolla, Traminer and Verduzzo grapes) and all of the luscious herbs. On my end, I gravitated more towards the sweet and burnt orange characteristics of the Fruili made amaro.
Amaro Nonino is 35% alcohol and aged in oak barrels for 5 years. Nonino can be consumed as a pre (aperitif) or post (digestive) dinner drink given it’s mildly bitter spicy and sweet taste. Nonino is also a bit less syrupy than some other Italian amari and is best served straight up (chilled) on the rocks. Nonino is a treat for any drinker even your papá!
Find it: Amaro Nonino Quintessentia , $39.59 at WineChateau.com