Vermouth was always a bit of an enigma to me. In my limited experience, there was red and white, which went in manhattans and martinis respectively. It wasn't until I moved to Toronto and started studying wine that I really became exposed to the wonderful world of vermouth.
So what exactly is vermouth? In short, vermouth is an aromatized fortified wine. It starts with a neutral wine spirit, and then producers add a variety of botanicals, herbs, barks, and extra alcohol to reach their desired taste and presentation. Much like wine, vermouth can be dry, extra-dry, sweet, red, white, and even rosé. Traditionally, vermouth was medicinal, but is now commonly found in cocktails, or enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif.
This week's sip is the Casa Mariol Vermut Blanc from Macabeo, Terra Alta, Spain. Terra Alta is a rather isolated area in the mountains where wine has only recently become an export market. The area is currently experiencing a surge in popularity for its wines, and its vermouths shouldn't be ignored either.
The Vermut Blanc from Casa Mariol is my favourite white vermouth at the moment. It's the perfect mix of herbal, floral, vegetal, mineral, and citrus. It's like laying next to a patch of wild flowers in a field of fresh cut grass with a hint of rain in the sky. This vermouth is unpretentious, reasonably priced, and absolutely delicious. It's the perfect start to a nice meal, or a great way to end the night. Currently, I'm enjoying a chilled glass with a bowl of salty potato chips.