Ask The Wine Ladies

Ask The Wine Ladies. What is Pisco?


Pisco, Peru’s national drink.

Dear Wine Ladies,

Last weekend my husband and I were invited to a Peruvian restaurant. While there we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a new drink called Pisco. I had a sour and my husband had one on the rocks. We both loved our aperitifs! Can you tell me a little about Pisco and where it can be found? We had never heard of it before but learned it is the national drink of Peru.

Leesa, Toronto

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Dear Leesa,

You have discovered what many mixologists expect to be the next big spirit to take the drinks world by storm already making a splash at many trendy bars and restaurants. Pisco is a premium, delicious, savory and complex white spirit. It orginated in the town of  Pisco in the region of Ica, Peru. It dates back hundreds of years and is an integral part of the Peruvian culture. A spirit that can be enjoyed on its own. It offers up a range of seductive notes on the nose including citrus, peach, green apple, flowers, hints of chocolate and more. Such a delicious range due to the variety of 8 different grapes permtted to be used. It is also made in three styles. Whether it be a Pisco Puro, meaning a single varietal Pisco. Or a Mosto Verde, made with the must that has not completed fermentation. Or a Acholado using a blend of two grapes or more this wonderful spirit offers the palate a unique and  sophisticated adventure.

Add to this the possibility of using either the category of aromatic grapes such as Toronte or non-aromatic like the most prolific Quebranta grapes. This spirit  is truly a very special spirit in its unique ability to offer the bodegas an opportunity to handcraft their spirit in a fashion unique to them. Pisco producers must also adhere to very strict regulations as set out by the governing body ensuring further a premium product. Ask for Pisco at your local liquor store, and if they don’t stock it they need to get on the Pisco Trail! See link for our adventures in Peru with Pisco.

Melanie Asher the woman behind the rise of Pisco and Macchu Pisco

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