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Confessions of a former teetotaler

Who belong to all those little glasses filled with such a wonderful liquid, rich in flavors, aromas, sensations and emotions? MINE! Oh no, don’t look at me with those faces, with mocking irony, asking me with a naive look: but really you? Giulia the teetotaler? the one that at parties carries her bottle of iced tea and pretends it to be rum? Yes, it’s me! I – or rather Juls’ Kitchen – have been invited to the Distillerie Bonaventura Maschio of Gaiarine (TV) for a wonderful visit of the company, an interesting lecture on distillation and different great spirits of worldwide excellence, accompanied by a specific tasting.

When I first received the invitation from Made in Kitchen (and here the first huge thanks for a perfect coordination of the event by Giulia and Made in Kitchen) to take part to the event PRIME UVE EXPERIENCE DAY last Friday, I was a bit hesitant, afraid to cut a poor figure up there and above all being a complete teetotaler … and if the alcohol fumes knock me down after the first 5 minutes? and if I do not recognize the fuel from grappa? Then a pure curiosity and a childish enthusiasm for such an important occasion convinced me, and I was involved into the event by the perfect organization of Nicoletta, from the Maschio Distillery.

So, on Thursday night Juls’ Kitchen makes its cases and walks towards Treviso, full of expectation and excitement for the first official mission! On Friday morning the group of foodbloggers is formed and we are welcomed in the company by Anna and Andrea, sons of the owner who, with sympathy and genuine enthusiasm, introduce the company and its history. We enter the distillery and here the first surprise: a pleasant and captivating smell welcomes me, no smell of alcohol as in my nightmares .. everything works greatly! With the guidance of Mr. Stefano, master distiller, we visited the plant and we become protagonists of a distillation of prosecco grapes. What a responsibility!

From the words of Stefano we begin to understand the differences in between the many kinds of spirits, all due to different raw materials: the use of raisins allows water present in the grapes to dilute the distillate – it is Mother Nature that does it all! (a sentence that struck me very much, and have been fairly reported).

Then we move between the barrels. The sudden changes of temperature we feel confirms the words of Stefano: there is no control of temperature and humidity. This is because the distillate must live by all that was before, he keeps traces of its raw material. They use barrels that have previously contained the same vineyard. The distillate must breathe in the barrel, following the movements dictated by cold and heat: with the heat the distillate takes the sensations and flavors from the wood of the barrel, with the cold it closes on itself and comes together. If the distillate gains time after time its bouquet, it will release it gradually, moment by moment revealing its inner richness and complexity.

The visit to the company museum allows us to meet other distilling equipment, not only a bain marie equipment, but also a direct steam equipment (when the starting raw material is dry, as in the case of the grape skins) and direct fire equipment, the oldest method (in the case, for example, of wine, that is when the starting material is liquid). After the museum, we come back to the starting point of our visit and we discover that in the meanwhile the first precious drops of grappa have been produced. No need to pray us to taste them, uh?

The morning ends up with a classroom lesson on the different types of distilled of worldwide excellence And here there was yet another surprise! The tasting was primarily olfactory, and became a fantastic world tour on the notes of rum, vodka, cognac, Cachaça, tequila, whiskey and brandy. Thanks to the structure of the tasting glass, made up of 3 overlapping spheres, created by the harmony and balance of the golden ratio, you can appreciate and enjoy the scents that rise with the circular movement imposed on the content without the impact of alcohol that I so feared. The glass, according to the Maschio family philosophy, becomes, from being a mere container, an ambassador of our taste.

Let me express a final thought: a wonderful day, which allowed me to experience a world unknown until a few days ago, but above all, a day that put me in contact with the passion and the emotion in creating a product that encloses in every single drop everything that‘s around, from the territory to the people. A final thanks to the family Maschio, Anna and Andrea, who had the sensibility to make the distillery an open place, a place of knowledge and communication for other foodbloggers like me. Thank you for the hospitality and hope to see you all soon!

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