The Vermouth

I’ll tell you a secret I love Vermouth; it has become one of my favorite aperitifs when I want something other than wine. The name makes you think of a foreign product, but it is 100% Italian.

A bit of history

Vermouth is a fortified wine born in Turin in 1786 thanks to Antonio Benedetto Carpano, a distiller and herbalist who, by mixing muscat wine with spices and aromatic herbs, fortified with alcohol and sweetened with sugar, created the recipe. The main spice was Wormwood or Artemisia, which translates to Wermut in German, hence the name.

In the Piedmontese capital, this flavored wine, accompanied by aperitif dishes, was the protagonist in elegant cafés and in liquor dealers’ shops, but also in homes where the habit of “vermuttino” before dinner was widespread.

Status Symbol

Vermouth had many admirers; many were famous like Cavour, Giuseppe Verdi, and Massimo D’Azeglio; they helped make this wine a regal and aristocratic product, a true Status Symbol. Sweet and alcoholic with a smooth taste, it quickly became popular in Europe and overseas.

The Vermouth today

After a period of decline, Vermouth has made a comeback in recent years; in Italy, each region boasts small producers who create them with the wines and botanicals of the area. Piedmont obtained the GI; the wine, protected by the Consortium founded in 2019, boasts 23 producers.

Enolike - il Vermouth Friulano
Enolike – the Friulan Vermouth

Even in Friuli, there are some realities. We suggest those of Piolo and Max, owners of the Piccola Bottega Spiritosa; Piolo and Max wanted to pay homage to the history of the Porto Vecchio in Trieste, for decades homed famous cellars producing flavored wines well-known all over the world, but also to master winemakers who expertly prepared the wine and who for years passed on their art and passion. Vermouth del Porto Vecchio is produced only with selected Italian wines.

The second suggestion is the Vermouth by Borgo San Daniele, available in white and red. Borgo San Daniele winery produced the first Friulian agricultural Vermouth with a complete artisanal supply chain.
The Bianco with Pinot Bianco, Friulano, and Malvasia Istriana grapes with botanicals made up of artemisia and common spontaneous herbs and
the Rosso with unfiltered Pignolo grapes and old vintages of wine from the Gortmarin-owned vineyard, infused with 30 different herbs divided into officinal, spontaneous, and aromatic spices.

How to taste them

They’re great when mixed, but I love them straight with orange zest and a few ice cubes, as an aperitif or at the end of a meal.

Let me know your impressions.



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