Small town memories

6 Jul
6 July 2016. My husband loves grappa. Over our years in Italy he has come to appreciate the good stuff versus the lighter fluid they sometimes give you free after dinner in a Roman restaurant. The good stuff, by the way, is usually yellow and aged, sometimes called barrique grappa. 
In 2014, during a trip to Ortisei with family, we stopped at a gelateria with the little grandnephew and grandniece. I noticed a shelf of grappas at the back of the shop and pointed it out to Ric and nephew John.  The young man serving the gelato immediately dropped the scoop into the hands of his colleague and offered to do a tasting for Ric and John at the back of the shop. We walked out a short time later with a most expensive bottle of grappa. Oh, and the rest of us did get gelato. 
Sibona Grappa di Porto. Golden and delicious, just the right ending to a meal. It is a digestivo, after all. (That's Libby in the corner of the banquette.)

Sibona Grappa da Porto. Golden and delicious, just the right ending to a meal. It is a digestivo, after all. That’s Libby in the corner of the banquette. She didn’t drink any.

We loved this grappa! It was smooth and delicious enough to (almost) replace my craving for the occasional Scotch. It proved to be hard to find this particular grappa in Roma, so the next summer, 2015, when we passed two weeks in Ortisei, Ric asked the shop for two bottles: one to drink while visiting and one to take back to the U.S. for a friend. The young man had one bottle in stock but asked us if we would please wait while he went to fetch another. I don’t know if he went home to get it from his private stock or bought it from a competitor, but 15 or 20 minutes later, after we had consumed a gratis gelato, he returned and we sailed off with our two bottles. 
Today we stopped in and went directly to the back of the shop and grabbed a bottle. A clerk asked us if we knew what it was, then stopped mid-sentence: “You were here last year! You waited and bought two bottles!” Unbelievably, even with the thousands of people they serve gelato to in that shop, this woman and her partner (the young man from the prior encounters) remembered us. I guess two bottles is a memorable sale. 
We’ve since found a source in Roma as well as one online, but as far as we know, you cannot get this stuff in the U.S. If anyone finds it, please let us know for future needs. I don’t think we can afford to ship home a carload.

10 Responses to “Small town memories”

  1. mvaden1948 July 11, 2016 at 16:19 #

    Isn’t it wonderful when people in shops remember you from a previous visit…even when it was a year ago?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 11, 2016 at 17:49 #

      It’s amazing! We have vendors in Roma that remember us, of course, but to be remembered a year later in a busy tourist town? But then I guess a Euro 62.00 grappa sale is a little bigger than the average gelato order. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ckleonard July 6, 2016 at 23:06 #

    I don’t believe I have ever tasted it. I’m curious as it does sound good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gayleseely July 6, 2016 at 22:43 #

    This sounds like a wonderful mission. I will start right away! And tell Ric that this is
    a delightful habit to have taken up. It necessitates the regular return trips to Italy. Not to mention that jewel in the mountains, Ortisei. Just the memory of the place brings a peaceful feeling.
    Possibly YOU should be the ones to start up the importing company for this product.
    I think one good long buying trip a year would work, but two might be better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gooddayrome July 7, 2016 at 04:45 #

      A perfect mission and we can both benefit from the research.

      Ortisei is a jewel! This is our 5th visit in 4 years and we are still in love with it. The weather is gloriously cool with highs around 70-73 F in the valley, even cooler up high. The cats seem to be enjoying it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ckleonard July 7, 2016 at 04:48 #

      Good luck on your mission! I will be watching to see what you learn re availability in the US. I want to try this!


  4. Will July 6, 2016 at 21:28 #

    Fun! I guess I’ve only tasted the cheap stuff. Your description of it as lighter fluid exactly matched my experience. That said, I still like it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 7, 2016 at 04:40 #

      Ah, Will, find yourself some “barrique.” Especially nice on a chilly, rainy Seattle night.

      Liked by 1 person


  1. We interrupt this move for a Swiss break | gooddayrome - October 13, 2016

    […] our two favorite places to visit and to hike, the other being Italy’s Val Gardena. After our glorious month in Ortisei in July, we thought a compare-and-contrast trip to the Bernese Oberland — specifically the […]


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