Friday, 8 February 2008

Hell indeed


Hovering as I am between life and bronchitis-inspired death my brief moments of lucidity are comforted by the Mother of Grappas, the Guvnor, the No. 1, He Who is There When You Need Him Most, Mr Nardini of Bassano. Distilled in the same spot since 1779 using the traditional steam process (whatever that is), this is grappa at its most traditional and reliable. Grappa is made essentially from the bits (stalks, skin) that are left over from the grape after the winemaking process. Nardini is clean as a whistle, it doesn't burn on the way down and kicks in at a healthy, life-giving 50 degrees of alcohol. Yes, there are loads of fancy flavoured grappas in dinky bottles made from single varietal grapes but they are for poofs (not including Renato of course). If you go the the town where they make this stuff, Bassano al Ponte (you can see the bridge on the label), there are bars where some of the good ole' boys are in there first thing in the morning for a grappa sharpener. They resemble some of the locals I remember from the Cider Bar in Newton Abbot. Red-faced and speechless.

16 comments:

Diplomat said...

what a relief to see you back on air - glad to see the bottle's empty.

alastair fox said...

how much a case?

Peter Ashley said...

Daniela Nardini was the fit one on This Life.

Justin Savage said...

Daniel Lambert was the fat one in Leicester Museum. They had a chair on display that was twice the width of an ordinary one. I think he liked a drop, to wash down all those pork chops he had for breakfast. Ron, you might end up like Daniel Lambert, and have to have the Combo-mobile specially widened to twice the width of an ordinary car so you can carry on driving to the still with all your stalks and skin.

Ron Combo said...

Alastair: a 1 litre bottle costs around €18 which is about 12 quid in feet and inches. There is a distributor in Blighty and his name is, reassuringly, Nick Hopewell-Smith. You can contact him on 01379 388910
Squire Ashley: he lives in Stradbroke in Suffolk. Nice village? Decent pub`?

Ron Combo said...

What do you mean 'might' Moon? I already have to be winched down in front of the computer.

Peter Ashley said...

Daniel Lambert died in a pub. The Blue Boar in Stamford I think. They had to take an interior wall down to get him out Ron. Don't think I've been to Stradbroke. Probably full of witchfinders.

alastair fox said...

See there's a Pove del Grappa, Borso del Grappa and Crespano del Grappa all within close proximity to Bassano. Do they each distil their own versions?

cindy incidentally said...

Peter, have you copped of yet? 'Tis Valantine's day on thursday.

Peter Ashley said...

I'd forgotten all about that Cindy. Better start stuffing the sheeps' hearts now or they won't be ready. Oh, and I love that 'copped off', haven't heard that for a while. I hope I do.

A F-A said...

This is a bit sycophantic I know, Ron, but I have a picture of you on my wall.....you have something of the air of Fernandel (and the h-air too!).

What mileage is there in you doing a one-man Don Camillo retrospective? You are in the right area.....

cindy incidentally said...

af-a, is the 'do' a bouffant? Ron did have a penchant for this particular coiffe during one of his incarnations.

A F-A said...

Cindy (nice to meet you!). Ron's 'do' is not quite bouffant....more fondant! It presages English Dandy - one could say that Hugh Grant is Post-Comboist.

Peter Ashley said...

How come we've gone from Ron's twigs in horse piss to how his hair's done? Come on,let's have more accounts of you falling over backwards from seeing off a bottle of Barolo in ten minutes, or, better still a rusty can of meths.

A F-A said...

Peter, I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I derailed these comments.

RON: Does drinking this fine Grappa have any effect upon your fine head of hair (or at least the one you DID have)?

Peter Ashley said...

And has anyone else noticed that Ron's turned into a cream-coloured labrador? Lucky sod.