1:00 - 3:00
Our tasting theme for this weekend is one we’ve had a lot of requests for, and that we’ve intended to do for quite some time, yet never seemed to get around to doing. This Saturday we’re going to try to give you a good basic introduction into the world of Vermouth. Many American drinkers are well aware of Vermouth as something that goes into their favorite cocktail, but have never taken the time to consider of it’s own merits, or tasted alone outside of an already mixed drink. Vermouths can often be compelling and delicious drinks all on their own, and work just as well as the centerpiece of an aperitif as they do as an auxillary accent.
So, what is Vermouth? Vermouth is a wine-based beverage made by infusing various botanicals (fruits, herbs, spices and roots) into a low-alcohol base wine. As is the case with gin, the particular combination of botanicals used varies from producer to producer, and is often a closely guarded trade secret. Among the extensive list of possible ingredients are commonly cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, citrus peel, cloves, coriander and quinine. Nutmeg and orange peel can contribute a distinctive, refreshing bitterness when required, and juniper berries are used to bring a certain tangy intensity to some vermouth. The use of hysspo and various members of the anise family can lend absinthe-like aromas and a subtle green hue. But these examples barely scratch the surface of the different elements producers can use in their recipes.
To try to get just a good basic overview of Vermouth, we are going to taste four examples from just one producer. Our goal is to highlight the different core styles, and what flavors are expected and anticipated from those. Our guide will be Michael Maller of Orsini Wines. Michael developed the beverage programs at Vin Rouge, Mateo, Mother and Sons, and more, and has a great knowledge to share. He represents Bodegas De Muller out of Spain, who do fantastic Vermouth under their Iris label. De Muller Vermouth have been using the same recipe since 1850. They are located in Reus, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Catalonia. Reus is considered the epicenter of Spanish Vermouth and De Muller is historically regarded as a top producer. They use up to 150 botanicals in their complex recipes, most of which are native to their Mediterranean setting. One of the Vermouth we will taste is their Reserva, which is produced in a Solera manner similar to Sherry, and was recently named ‘Best Vermouth in Catalonia’. This tasting should be a lot of fun!
Iris Vermouth Blanco
Iris Vermouth Dorado
Iris Vermouth Rojo
De Muller Vermouth Reserva