Thursday, August 04, 2005

Texas Sugar Fig Grappa by Chef Will Packwood

Texas Sugar Fig Grappa

The girlies and I went out to Seven last night, a favorite destination for delectable fruits of both sea and vine. They have just recently opened their bar, which is a vast improvement to what was once a rather claustrophobic space. Seven has one of my favorite wine lists in all the land, with selections that compliment the food rather than comply with the lazy "I'll have a Chardonnay" diner. Crisp, bright Vermentinos, lovely Sancerres, and seductive White Burgundies are all there by the glass, just waiting to get next to some immaculately sauteed monkfish. There's even a Grignolino by the glass. Grignolino, if you've never come across it (it's pretty rare here) is an unusual light red with an almost orange hue, bright acidity, and heady aromas of white pepper, orange peel and flowers. It loves most lighter fish like Jesus loves Mary. God, I love Italian wine.

Anyway, I had been meaning to ask Chef Packwood to allow me to blog about an experiment in grappa that he's been working on, and after us ladies finished our wining, dining and dishing, I got the scoop.

When asked what kind of grappa he chose for this experiment, he told me the story of Julia Grappa, an Old World, remove-paint-from-surfaces kind of spirit that his Grandfather used to put the correcto in his cafe. He had seen a number of traditional grappa macerations, including golden raisins, black walnuts and even cumino, and decided to try his hand at concocting a few. His first is this Texas Sugar Fig Grappa, which I've been periodically nipping at since it was introduced to me a month or so ago. The macerated fig grappa is now three months old, and has probably developed as far as it will, according to Chef Packwood. I am really enamored with it. It is smooth and rich, and full of figgy goodness, and went quite well with the Maytag on our cheese plate.

If you ever find yourself in Austin, check out Seven on South Congress. It does not suck.

Clinkies, and thanks to Chef Will!


Blogger Jassmond said...

Grignolino. Sweet, sweet grignolino. The place sounds worth trying for that alone.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Jassmond said...

By sweet I mean dry, simple and precious.

7:05 PM  
Blogger taj said...

Because I adore Grignolino too, I knew exactly what you meant! I can't tell you how, in the early days, I described a wine enthusiastically as "sweeeet!" only to have my guest insist that they had no desire for a sweet wine. You can take the girl out of the trailer park....

7:28 PM  
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