What’s Vermouth? Vermouth is what’s called an aromatized wine. Wine that is made using natural botanicals, such as citrus peel, herbs, spices, tree bark, tea or any number of aromatics that can add flavor to the final wine. First developed in ancient Greece by Hippocrates, the modern Vermouth was fashioned in the 1700s in Milan, Italy. There’s a vibrant culture of spirited conversation, chilled Vermouth and light appetizers of olives, nuts, seafood, and cheese in Italy and Spain. Each winery has their own secret blend of ingredients that steep in the wine as it’s made. This one is from famed Santa Barbara winemaker, Steve Clifton and restaurant native, David Rosoff. It’s a classic dry style, with an earthy base and spice box full of flavor. Crisp, complex, and friendly enough for any cocktail fan.
The back of the bottle instructs, “Please take with two olives and a wedge of orange.” This Vermouth quietly suggests itself as the perfect apéritif. Try this with all varieties of snacking foods: bowl of olives, salty nuts, sturdy cheeses, even fruit. The hundreds of flavors made from the botanical recipe, are a quick inspiration to pair with your favorite spices and fresh herbs.
Having witnessed and participated in many such scenarios throughout Italy and Spain, winemaker Steve Clifton and restaurant native David Rosoff, were determined to bring the culture of Vermouth back home. With staunch determination and years of friendship behind them, the two sequestered themselves in the cellar of Clifton’s Palmina Winery in Lompoc, California to produce the perfect blend. They made some aperitif magic here.