Hoke wrote:I'd add in the Ransom American Dry Vermouth (made by the same farmer that makes the Ransom Old Tom Gin---which is not a real Old Tom but really a barrel-aged gin that is pretty damned good; he also makes a light-aged young Whippersnapper Whiskey). The Ransom is pungent and full-flavored, and list all the botanicals clearly on the front label. It also makes some kick-ass cocktails,though a little goes a long way.
I personally believe there is a tremendous opportunity for the "aromatized wines" category---it's loosely defined and thus perfect for the American "anything goes" approach; easy to make as it requires a standard base wine widely available and inexpensive; and is determined by the style (taste preferences) of the person making the concoction, rather than getting TomHill all worked up over whether it has the proper terroir or varietal typicity. Appeals to the craft person in all of us and isn't that difficult to make.
Totally agree. There are two genres that I feel are sadly neglected in Calif...passito/dessert wines and "aromatized" wines. The market for the first is there. For the second,
it needs to be developed. Most people regard "vermouth" as a spirt, to be used in mixed/high octane drinks. But they can be very nice, on their own. I'd love to see
some try a Chinato in Calif. Wouldn't sell at all...but I'd like to try one.