Dry Vermouth Tasting
- Fortunately Cinzano is no more available via its supplier in Dubai [which was A+E].
- Fortunately this gave me the opportunity to change to a good product.
- Fortunately the suppliers were so nice, to drop me their suggestions.
- Fortunately - they were all great.
- Unfortunately it is so hard to choose...
I had three products to compare:
Noilly Prat - Original Dry is the benchmark. This is which most people, who like Martini cocktails would prefer [yes the original Martini with gin - which only maybe substituted with vodka, vermouth and optional orange bitters - no strawberry, caramel, toffee, cotton candy or any other hogus].
Dolin is French as Noilly Prat - and maybe not that good known. It still has a great reputation under Martini cocktail connoisseurs and bartenders.
And finally Vya - the new kid on the block! A boutique vermouth made by a boutique winery in California.
I was especially excited to try Vya - as I have heard so much about it and could never try.
I won't bore you with a lot of tasting notes. I might do this on an occasion, when I will review each of them in an individual review [well - or I won't - depending how much time I have on my hands].
But the verdict is, that all of them are really great vermouths, but quite different.
Dolin is very subtle. You have a quite bright wine character and herbs are supporting the wine characteristics. Dolin is also the driest of the bunch.
Vya is a completely different beast. It is quite "spicy" featuring more obvious botanicals like brown spices and orange peel [taken just from my impressions]. It is lively and racey. The white wine much more defines the product and is a standout. Definitely a great vermouth!
Noilly Prat is positioned between the previous two. The wine is more expressive and has more acidity balance as the Dolin, but just not yet as much as the Vya. It is bright, has beautiful herbal flavors with little spice underlying them.
Fact is, that I would like to have them all! It would be great, to offer them as options for Martini cocktails or even have them as aperitifs on the rocks. But I feel, that I am not yet on this stage here on work, so I have to choose one...
As the biggest consumption of vermouth in the hotel happens to be for Martinis, I will choose Dolin for now. This is surprising myself [before the tasting I was sure, that I would go for Vya or Noilly Prat]. Dolin is just so much dryer and more subtle - it can be used even in a higher ratio, without big distraction of the clean character of a Martini cocktails extra dry!
If I would sell more vermouth as aperitif, I would definitely rather go for one of the other two [or both].
One other point, which I hope will improve the quality of the vermouths in the operation will be, that I will transfer them in much smaller bottles [for the moment I have half wine bottles - but maybe I will even go for smaller glass bottles]. This would speed up the consumption [vermouth is not very shelf stable], but also would ensure, that it can be always stored in the fridge, without using valuable fridge real estate...
I will also use a wine spray [an argon mixture] to ensure, that it won't oxidize as fast.
Did you tried all three and what is your verdict? Do you have any tips to share, how to make sure, that you have always "fresh" vermouth, and not reoxidized ones, which you get in most places?