Wherever You Go, There’s a Grappa for You
In a not-so-distant past, hikers knew that, along with their provisions, next to the water bottle, there should always be a small flask of «spirits». Whether it was grappa, liqueur, brandy or Fernet, a sip of a distilled drink was needed to invigorate one’s explorer spirit, offering a refreshing break.
We may no longer drink spirits to invigorate ourselves, but we certainly haven’t stopped traveling.
Drinking has become an act of pure pleasure that is shared with others, one that helps us appreciate and highlight a particular moment. Let’s then briefly revive the ancient custom of using a spirit flask and, this vacation, let’s try to reinvent it. Let’s pair the beauty of a holiday destination with the flavor of an artisanal Marolo Grappa, to be shared with friends at the end of a cheerful day.
Which Grappa would you choose while gazing at the stars on the night of the Perseid meteor shower, perhaps in a mountain lodge? And after a boat trip, which liqueur would best highlight the adventure?
To avoid getting lost in the infinite array of options, we followed Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel. We selected three iconic vacation destinations for 2023 and tried to pair each of them with one of our products.
Here’s what we came up with!
UMBRIA, THE UNDISCOVERED HARMONY OF NATURE
Among the must-visit places recommended by Lonely Planet to have a taste of Italy, we have Umbria, the «green sea» of our peninsula. Umbria boasts endless art, treasures, and culinary delights and is far less crowded than one might think, especially compared to the neighboring and more popular Tuscany. So, where to go in Umbria? Anywhere. Amidst pristine forests, enchanted valleys, spring-fed rivers, and lakes, Umbria offers an unconventional vacation experience, away from the usual tourist routes.
Our recommended pairing
As the natural wonders of Umbria unfold before your eyes, treat yourself to a sunset on Lake Trasimeno and discover why the ancient Romans made it one of their favorite destinations. Wait for the sun to set and savor a glass of Grappa Marolo Dedicata al Padre. Just like Umbria, Grappa Dedicata al Padre comes from the red grapevine of the lesser known “side” of the hills of Southern Piedmont: Roero, a land of forests, gardens, and sandstone ravines called «Rocche». A white Grappa with excellent alcohol content, strong personality, purity, and harmony, whose warm embrace will complement the wild rural beauty of Italy’s greenest region.
A VINTAGE JOURNEY TO THE EAST
Among this year’s must-have experiences, Lonely Planet’s editors highlight the night train journey between Istanbul and Sofia. It travels along a recently renovated route and allows you to embark on an adventure that recalls the Orient Express, but on a smaller scale: from the lights of the Bosphorus, where East and West meet, to the tranquility of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, where peace, hospitality, and remnants of the city’s Soviet past have crafted a gone-by atmosphere.
Our recommended pairing
For this unusual train journey, amidst Art Nouveau-style stations and breathtaking mountain passes, we need something special, one capable of evoking the late 19th-century atmosphere. Let’s briefly wander off from Grappa and guiltlessly choose Vermouth Domenico Ulrich, rediscovered by Marolo. The ancient recipe from 1854 comes to life in three different versions: Extra Dry, Bianco, Rosso, and Rosso Superiore. Among these, we recommend the latter: Vermouth di Torino Rosso Superiore Umberto.
Full-bodied, vibrant and rich in spicy notes, it stands out for hints of cinchona and hyssop. What sets Umberto apart is the maturation of the botanicals: after the extraction of essences, the tinctures linger for many months in aging woods, a technique that imparts intense color and wonderful balsamic qualities, as well as a rounded body and velvety tannins. A vintage sip that will transport you back to the Belle Époque era.
Have you ever thought of going to Dominica? Dominica, not the Dominican Republic, an island often confused with the latter. Located between Martinique and Guadeloupe, it’s a natural paradise waiting to be discovered, far less traveled than the more famous Caribbean coasts. Yet, Dominica has nothing to envy its neighbors: rainforests, lakes, hot springs, and hundreds of rivers, many of which cascade down the steep and rugged cliffs along the roads leading to the sea. The best way to explore this wild territory is to don hiking boots and be in good hiking shape.
Our recommended pairing
The desire for adventure and the Caribbean Sea leaves us with no doubts. In your travel flask, load up a generous amount of Grappa di Barolo Solera, a pleasantly complex spirit, never too austere or complicated, delightfully enjoyable, and with a delicate taste. The «Solera» method used to create it (consisting in a dynamic aging method involving multiple levels of barrels arranged in a pyramid, where Grappa “moves” towards the lower barrels based on the aging period) is borrowed directly from the one used to age Rum. This is a unique product that combines the most authentic essence of Piedmont’s Grappa di Barolo with a Caribbean soul, creating a taste fit for true explorers.