13 May The Great Vermouth Taste-Off: Inexpensive Whites
As I mentioned in my last post, it has belatedly occurred to me that I should be paying more attention to Vermouth, seeing as it’s an almost constant ingredient in the cocktails I most enjoy. Having found the sweet Vermouth tasting so pleasurable and informative, I immediately decided to do the same for dry. I picked up 5 bottles, matching them as closely as I could to the brands I’d used for the sweet tasting, swapping in Tribuno for Stock this time around, because, ironically, the store was out of Stock. I hadn’t noticed when choosing that the whites are all a dollar more expensive than the reds; so the Boissiere (at $10.99) is technically over the $10 limit. This, we’ll find, could lead to some controversy in the final judging, because here are our results, pictured in order of preference:
Like with the sweet Vermouth, we discovered a great deal of variety in taste. Unlike with the sweet Vermouth, there was a rather steep drop-off in our preferences. Whereas we would have happily added any of the five sweet Vermouths into our cocktails, we really only liked the dry Boissiere and Cinzano.
The Boissiere tasted sharp, sweet and tangy; it was quite nice. The Cinzano was interesting, with hints of citrus. The Martini might also do in a pinch; it had a dry and sour taste, rather like a fino sherry. The Gallo simply tasted like a sweet white wine to us; we’ll probably use it as a cooking wine instead of a cocktail ingredient. Steph strongly disliked the Tribuno. My reaction wasn’t quite as strong, but I agreed that it had something of a peculiar flavor; also, it had a significantly lighter body than the others, which I don’t think I want from a Vermouth.
So, through the Inexpensive round, Boissiere takes the crown for both varieties. Because of Boissiere’s $11 price tag, we might have to give it an asterisk in the dry bracket. Cinzano might have the basis for a complaint, but the others didn’t really have a chance with us anyway.