Turin has long been recognized as the birthplace of vermouth, and has remained a center of vermouth production since Benedetto Carpano first added an infusion of herbs and spices to the local wines of the region, back in 1786.
Vermouth di Torino is still a popular style of vermouth, and has had protected status since 1991. As of March 22, 2017, the protected status for Vermouth di Torino has been further defined by a new set of technical standards, presented by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Under these new standards, Vermouth di Torino is defined as an aromatized (flavored) wine produced within the province of Piedmont, using a base of Italian wine, and fortified with the addition of spirits.
Other standards include the following:
- The main flavoring must be artemisia (an herb also known as wormwood), with additional herbs and spices allowed
- Alcohol by volume must be between 16% and 22%
- The color may range from light yellow to amber yellow and red; the color of the final product should reflect the color of the base wines and the flavorings, although the use of caramel coloring is permitted
- Allowed sweeteners include sugar, grape must, caramel, and honey
- The type and origin of the base wines may be specified on the label if they represent at least 20% by volume of the finished product
The new standards also allow for a Vermouth di Torino Superiore, with a minimum of 17% alcohol by volume. At least 50% of the base wine and the flavorings used for Vermouth di Torino Superiore (aside from the artemisia) must be grown in Piedmont.
It seems like tonight would be an excellent time to enjoy a Vermouth di Torino straight up or on the rocks—or perhaps a Negroni or a Boulevardier.
What is your favorite way to enjoy Vermouth di Torino?
References/for more information (in Italian):
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