Gancia is another of the Piemontese companies that followed the path of making Spumante and Aperitivo wine-based beverages. While many of these companies ceased to exist, Gancia managed to continue its production by adapting to the existing economic realities. Nowadays I assume the majority of their business and production is making Pinot di Pinot, a rather inexpensive sparkling wine found in supermarkets and back bars across the peninsula. Like many beverage companies that have managed to stand the test of time, they have a strong hold on distribution. Thus spreading the aforementioned Pinot based bubbles, their own line of still wines and some foreign brands.
Similar to Contratto, their history started out in the illustrious antebellum times when the Italian, and seemingly the world market, wanted to drink aperitivo drinks like Vermouth. In particular interest to this article, they made an Americano. The Americano is a wine-based aperitivo beverage that in Garcia’s case is closer to a Campari than a Vermouth.
When I first saw this bottle in Scaramagli I was so surprised to see something like this still being produced. Yes, Cocchi re-released their Americano and Martini re-released their China Martini, but this bottle’s design makes it appear as if this bottling has been the last brand to continue to survive on the business of grandfather habits. The unapologetically fake red coloring on a wine based drink with Campari-like bitterness fits this Grandpa profile to a bill.
I do not know if Gancia has a marketing team or connections to the craft-cocktails scene, but this is something that must be introduced to that world. A community of people that thirst and appetite for this sort of heritage product. Though a bottle redesign couldn’t hurt either.
It is fine on the rocks, by itself, but it really shines in cocktails. It makes a nice Negroni, and of course Americano (the drink with Vermouth). In the summer it is great with gazzosa and a dash of Menta Maria (Gazzosa is an Italian sprite-like drink and Menta Maria is the minty version of Amaro Santa Maria al Monte). It works very well in a Negroni. It obviously works great in a Spritz as well.
I have not seen it in any other place other than Scaramagli. They have the largest Aperitivo selection I have ever seen. Until Gancia realizes they have a chance at selling this to moustached barmen, it may be hard to track down.