Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Slighly more than a passing mention of Cinzano Bianco Extra Dry vermouth

It’s been a long time since I’ve invited vermouth to share these pages with us, and it’s strange that it should be now, so soon after a visit to this brand’s country of origin, Italy. Surely I could have picked up a cheap one over there? Well, I never thought of it. I had a quick look at other products in Duty Free, but I felt rushed and didn’t end up committing to anything. After a couple of days back at home, I was in Sainsburys and saw this 15% ABV brand for £5.50. That seemed reasonable – and it turns out a good couple of quid cheaper than it’s available on TWE and MoM – even before P&P.
The bottle actually sat untouched on my shelf for a good few months before one day I ran out of beer, and needed something to replace it as my Saturday afternoon treat. There had been other opportunities before, but I hadn’t made any ice for a while.
Vermouth in the main is nothing special. I tend to think of it as a decent drink for giving you a bit of a buzz – like having a beer, really; when you don’t want a wine or to mix a cocktail. As such you can’t expect much, but I have to say the Cinzano Bianco has turned out to be something of a disappointment. I’d always assumed this was one of the better brands – for no other reason than it’s one everyone’s heard of (when was that a reliable indicator anyway?), so I was surprised to find it’s not as good as the Martini varieties I’ve tried, and probably on a level with certain unbranded ones from Aldi or Lidl. The enduring impression is of a slight but pervasive bitterness and sadly, I don’t have much to say about it.
 And that's it for this week! Next week I think I'm going to be looking at the obscure Mexican spirit of sotol, so you won't want to miss that.

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