Myth #7- Italia pisco is too aromatic to mix in cocktails

This is the 7th post of a series of mythbusters to clarify misconceptions about Peruvian pisco.

monoterpenes, aromatic wine, aromatic pisco

 

 

We couldn’t disagree more that Italia is too aromatic for cocktails. In fact, we think it is one of the more exciting grapes to use.  While Italia can be quite floral, it can brighten up an Acholado by creating an interesting blend with the two (or more) grape varieties.

 

Let’s first talk about what aromatic means. If a wine or pisco is aromatic, it means it has higher levels of terpenes, which are the same scents found in flowers (Puckette). More specifically, if you can sense aromas of rose, lilac, lavender, orange blossom or geranium in a wine or pisco, it means it has monoterpenes, which are compounds found in the essential oils extracted from many plants, including fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs (Loza-Tavera). The Italia variety is classified in the aromatic category, along with Riesling, Albariño, Pinot Gris, the 3 other aromatic Peruvian pisco grapes and many others.  

 

Monoterpenes create special aromas, so how should you use Italia pisco in a cocktail? One suggestion would be to try it in a pisco colada because the Italia variety pairs well with the sweet flavors of coconut. Or, you can highlight the orange blossom notes in a citrus-based cocktail. If you’re drinking it on its own, an Italia pisco will enhance the flavors of a Thai curry or Tandoori Chicken.  

 

Whether or not you like Italia pisco in cocktails will come down to your personal preferences. However, you  shouldn’t take someone else’s word for it that it is too fruity or floral. We encourage you to try it with different ingredients to see which combination is best for you.   

 

 

Sources:  

 

Loza-Tavera, H. “Monoterpenes in Essential Oils. Biosynthesis and Properties.” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1999, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10335385.  

 

Puckette, Madeline. “What Are Aromatic White Wines?” Wine Folly, 27 Mar. 2019, winefolly.com/review/what-are-aromatic-white-wines/.

Myth#3: Pisco grapes are considered aromatic because they have muscat DNA

This is the 3rd post of a series of mythbusters to clarify misconceptions about Peruvian pisco.

peruvian pisco, pisco, pisco types

 

There are also Muscat-derived grapes in the non-aromatic category.

 

Before discussing this subject, let’s do a quick refresher on Peruvian pisco grapes. There are 8 grapes used for pisco production in Peru and they are divided into 2 categories: aromatic and non-aromatic. You can see the 4 grape varieties that fall into each category in the chart above.

There is a misconception circulating in the industry that the term “aromatic” applies exclusively to grapes with DNA from the Muscat family. While the four aromatics, Moscatel, Albilla, Italia and Torontel, are indeed derived from the Muscat grape, there are also two non-aromatic grapes with Muscat DNA: Negra criolla and Quebranta. Both of these red grape varieties come from Muscat of Alexandria (Moscatel de Alejandria in Spanish).  

The DNA of all the Peruvian pisco grape varieties is best explained in the chart created by Nico from Pisco Trail:  

 

pisco types, DNA pisco grapes, piscologia, peruvian pisco, pisco grapes 

Now if you hear the rumor that aromatic pisco grapes are the only grapes with DNA from the Muscat family, you can disprove it. Muscat of Alexandria gave life to the aromatic Italia variety, but it also deserves credit for giving us lovely non-aromatic Quebranta and Negra Criolla!

 

 

Source:

 

Vera, Nico. “Genealogy of Pisco Grape Varietals.” Pisco Trail, 2018, www.piscotrail.com/.

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