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Amari, Digestives, and Bitters


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#16 omnivorette

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:11 PM

Mind you, all kinds of behind-the-scenes deals go on between wholesalers and their customers. But not so that kind of price break would occur. You could just ask Otto how come the difference retail when it's not that way wholesale, etc. They might tell you something. Or ask the sommeliers at Lupa and Babbo.
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#17 Daisy

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:14 PM

Mt. Carmel's delivery process is a bit disorganized. First they claimed I hadn't bought enough to warrant delivery. I walked out and left the stuff there, convinced I would get my way. :D . Which I did--I had spent a little over $200. They then called me about three times regarding arranging the delivery--I have a doorman so that was puzzling. Last night about 9:30 a gentleman wearing a rather spiffy-looking blazer arrived with my wine and refused a tip--I think one of the owners may have dropped it off on his way home. ;)
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#18 g.johnson

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:23 PM

Does Bastianich import the Nonino himself?
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#19 Ron Johnson

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:26 PM

Does Bastianich import the Nonino himself?

I don't think so.

#20 omnivorette

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:26 PM

Dunno. Look at a bottle. If he is the importer, then he sells it to a whole lot of retail stores and other restaurants. I kinda doubt it actually.

Lots of deals there to be sure. Bastianich can't, on paper anyway, have ownership in a restaurant in NYC and have ownership in a wholesaler/distributor/importer.

But he's also a winemaker, or at least an owner in at least one winemaking biz in Italy, right?

Must be some complex documents and agremeents out there. Lawsuits waiting to happen for sure. He better pay his people real good.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#21 jsh

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 03:17 PM

I FINALLY (!) got to try the Nonino last night at Otto - thank you so much for the recommendation. Now I can't wait to go back and try the Nardini. Anyway, the friend I was with who can't stand Fernet Branca liked it too, because it doesn't have that bitter edge (I like the bitterness, but definitely not for everyone). Actually, I'd say it was just this side of syrupy, though not sweet - nice and herbally. I loved it. Having the Nonino and the olive oil coppetta made for the perfect ending for an evening (well, if only I had been outside in a piazza instead of standing in an incredibly loud room, but almost perfect!).
"'Conquer your passions, boys, and don't be eager after vittles.' As he uttered this moral precept, Mr. Squeers took a large bite out of the cold beef." - Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

#22 foodie52

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 03:39 PM

Is there some kind of a guide to digestifs? I love Campari but this thread is inspiring me to try something new.
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#23 Abbylovi

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 03:41 PM

Last night I had an amaro called del Campo and it was truly spectacular. It was nothing like any other amari that I've tried -- light (in color it was like a weak tea), herbal, floral. It tasted of lavendar, honey and rosemary. If you ever have the chance to try it or buy it, go for it. I also tried the Nardini which I thought I'd had previously but now I don't think so. That was pretty wonderful too. Very smooth and almost like an Armagnac.
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#24 Ron Johnson

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:01 PM

Last night I had an amaro called del Campo and it was truly spectacular. It was nothing like any other amari that I've tried -- light (in color it was like a weak tea), herbal, floral. It tasted of lavendar, honey and rosemary. If you ever have the chance to try it or buy it, go for it. I also tried the Nardini which I thought I'd had previously but now I don't think so. That was pretty wonderful too. Very smooth and almost like an Armagnac.


yes please.

#25 Abbylovi

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 08:59 PM

Naturally, I thought of you as I sampled them. I will try and find out how to get it and I will of course report back...
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#26 Russ Parsons

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:50 PM

i love amari and i love the fact that every bar in italy seems to have a different one (my research is broad, but somewhat dated). have you had cynar? it's made from artichokes. tastes like bile. but in a good way. the bile of someone who has been drinking honey and eating wild mountain herbs, maybe.

#27 Behemoth

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 12:51 AM

Not a fan of Cynar, except in cocktails. Ramazotti has been very popular in Munich lately, very refreshing on ice with a twist. We have several bottles because they came with little tip-kick soccer figures during the world cup and we needed extras. :blink: But for after dinner digestifs the most effective thing for me is a nice grappa.

All that stuff is so much cheaper over there, it really sort of hurts.

I have had some good grappa/aquavit out of Oregon though. The label was Ransom, really excellent small distiller.
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#28 wingding

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:36 PM

Ya'll like Bitter?Have I got an Amaro for you...while at the lovely Enoteca Gia Schiavi in Venice,I noticed an Amaro with a beautiful label up on a shelf,and brought a bottle back to N.Y."Elisir Novasalus",from Trentino.'Prodotti delle nostre Alpi,made with roots,herbs and flowers by Antica Erboristeria dr Cappelletti'.Watching the expressions on my coworkers faces when we tasted it was pretty funny...imagine a drink made from radicchio...But it's growing on me:]quite complex,and certainly a wake up call in a glass.
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#29 SLBunge

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:51 PM

Ya'll like Bitter?Have I got an Amaro for you...while at the lovely Enoteca Gia Schiavi in Venice,I noticed an Amaro with a beautiful label up on a shelf,and brought a bottle back to N.Y."Elisir Novasalus",from Trentino.'Prodotti delle nostre Alpi,made with roots,herbs and flowers by Antica Erboristeria dr Cappelletti'.Watching the expressions on my coworkers faces when we tasted it was pretty funny...imagine a drink made from radicchio...But it's growing on me:]quite complex,and certainly a wake up call in a glass.

I spent two very lovely hours in Enoteca Cantinone Gia Schiavi a couple of years ago in very late December. Truly a wonderful place.

As for the amaro, it sounds interesting.
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#30 jsh

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:35 PM

On a recent trip to LeNell's (Red Hook, Brooklyn) I discovered that I could keep myself occupied while my boyfriend salivated over the bourbons and ryes by salivating over the impressive choice of amari - from all over the world too. I had to restrain myself as I wanted to buy some of each. Instead, I focused on a category I hadn't known anything about before: chinatos.

This is what LeNell has on her website about one of them:
"Teopoldo Cappellano's family has been producing wine in the Barolo zone since 1870. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically. Giuseppe Cappellano, a pharmacist in Serralunga d'Alba, undertook the creation of an efficient digestive. His love of fine Barolo was reinforced by his belief in the wine's therapeutic properties when drunk well aged, and so he began his research with this great wine. Starting with an alcohol infusion of quinine bark ("china"), he added numerous herbs and spices such as clove, wormwood and cinnamon; this was blended with Barolo slightly sweetened with cane sugar. This delicious elixir soon became famous among the Piemontese bourgeoisie and much appreciated by the house of Savoy, who served it at royal banquets not only as an excellent digestive, but also as an aperitif and as a dessert wine to accompany chocolate." LeNell's Bitters

Most of them were more money than I could bring myself to spend, so I contented myself with a small bottle of the cheapest one, Marcarini Chinato. Here's the puffery on their website:
"A splendid, unique digestive and dessert wine, the Barolo Chinato traces its origins to the heart of the Barolo region toward the end of the 1800s. It derives from an ancient recipe which has been carefully preserved by our ancestors: the infusion of China Calissaya bark and several aromatic alpine herbs with aged Barolo wine has long been considered a remedy for several diseases. Aged for a long time in oak barrels, this aromatic wine becomes a low-alcoholic "elixir", amber-colored and with ruby-red reflections. Its spicy, intense and persistent nose and the bittersweet taste of the China bark make it a lovely and inviting wine. A rare specialty for connoisseurs!
There are various excellent ways to serve this wine: mixed with mineral water and ice, as an aperitif; neat, as a delicate after-dinner liqueur; or warmed up and served with orange peel, when it becomes the ideal drink for frosty winter evenings. Not just a meditation wine, Barolo Chinato is a fantastic companion with chocolate desserts.
Barolo Chinato is best served in a long-stemmed wine glass." Marcarini Chinato

Kind of like a cross between a sherry and an amari. Quite nice. And I can see it appealing to people who would never touch Fernet Branca. Went perfectly with the Marcolini chocolate I got for Valentine's Day. :) Definitely would reach for it at a different moment than a Ramazzoti or a Fernet Branca, and I can't tell yet if it's going to keep well once opened, but a nice thing to discover!

While I'm on this thread, I might as well mention that after a trip to Sicily last summer, I've decided I definitely don't like Averna. Too syrupy for my taste.
"'Conquer your passions, boys, and don't be eager after vittles.' As he uttered this moral precept, Mr. Squeers took a large bite out of the cold beef." - Dickens Nicholas Nickleby