Oliver McCrum Wines & Spirits
Oliver McCrum has been importing Italian wines from small artisan producers since 1994. Many of the producers farm organically and all farm in a sustainable manner. The producers grow indigenous Italian grape varieties, which produce regionally distinctive wines of incredible flavor and quality. In the video below, Oliver speaks more about his philosophy on why Italy and why small producers.
In 2016, Oliver began importing traditional Italian spirits. Italian spirits are almost as varied as the wines and can have regional typicity too. Oliver's criteria are the same for spirits as they are for wine: he wants typical, distinctive products made mostly by smaller producers. The producers must work with high quality ingredients and make their infusions in house with absolutely no artificial flavoring.
Aperitivo is the general Italian word for a drink before a meal. The word aperitivo comes from the Latin verb 'aperire', meaning 'to open'; aperitivi are thought to stimulate the appetite. The different kinds of drink used as aperitivi, or as ingredients for them, are as follows:
• Vermouth, wine with herb-infused alcohol added to bring the total alcohol up to roughly 18-20% by volume, then sweetened to the appropriate level for the vermouth type. The types are Sweet, which is red in color; Dry, white with less sugar; or White, with a little more sugar.
• Aperitivo, an infusion of herbs and spices in pure alcohol that is generally slightly sweeter and slightly less alcoholic (11-20% by volume).
• Bitter, an infusion of herbs and spices in pure alcohol that is generally higher in alcohol (20-30% by volume) and a little less sweet.
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