Introducing Our Latest Collaboration: Piano Rock Vermouth

Have you ever wondered what happens when the worlds of winemaking and distilling unite? Vermouth, of course! That’s exactly what happened when we teamed up with the distillers at Tamborine Mountain’s Cauldron Distillery for our latest project. Say hello to Piano Rock Vermouth – our stunning new collaboration that's as delightful as it is unexpected. 

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So what is Vermouth, and what does it have to do with wine? Well, grab a drink, settle in, and let's chat. We're about to take you on a fun and flavourful journey through the wonderful world of Vermouth – where wine and spirits meet.

What is Vermouth?

At its core, Vermouth is a fortified wine flavoured with various botanicals, roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices. Its distinct flavour profile comes from the infusion of these ingredients, which can include wormwood, along with other botanicals like chamomile, coriander, juniper, and citrus peels. Vermouth is typically categorised into two main types: sweet (red or rosso) and dry (white or bianco), each offering a unique taste experience.

A Sip Back In Time

The origins of Vermouth trace back to ancient civilisations, where herbal wines were concocted for medicinal purposes. However, it was in 18th century Turin, Italy, that Vermouth as we know it today began to take shape. 

From Italy, Vermouth’s popularity spread across the globe, particularly to France, where it found its way into iconic cocktails like the Martini and Negroni. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Vermouth continued to evolve, with different regions putting their own spin on the beverage, resulting in the diverse array of styles and flavours found today.

What’s in a name

The name "vermouth" originates from the German word "Wermut," meaning wormwood. Wormwood, scientifically known as Artemisia absinthium, has a bitter taste and was traditionally used for its medicinal properties. As Vermouth evolved from these medicinal concoctions into a popular apéritif enjoyed for recreation, the name carried over, paying homage to its herbal roots. So, in essence, Vermouth got its name from the very ingredient that gives it its distinctive flavour – wormwood.

Vermouth and Wine: What’s the link?

Wine is an essential part of the Vermouth-making process, serving as the base upon which the botanicals are infused. The choice of wine can significantly impact the final flavour of the Vermouth, with different varieties adding their own nuances and complexities. Traditionally, white wines are used for dry Vermouth, while red wines form the base for sweet Vermouth. However, modern producers often experiment with a wide range of grape varietals to achieve their desired flavour profile.

How Vermouth is Made

The process of making Vermouth involves several intricate steps, each contributing to its distinctive character. It begins with the selection of high-quality wine, which is fortified with a grape based spirit to increase its alcohol content. The fortified wine is then infused with a carefully selected blend of botanicals, which can include a wide range of traditional herbs, spices, roots, and fruits as well as unique local ingredients.

The exact recipe for Vermouth varies from producer to producer, with each one closely guarding their secret blend of botanicals. After the infusion process, the Vermouth is typically aged for a period to allow the flavours to meld together and develop greater depth and complexity.

Piano Rock Vermouth

Bianco: Crafted on a base of Witches Falls Semillon, the Piano Rock Vermouth Bianco tantalises the palate with its semi-sweet nature. It offers a citrus-forward and complex profile, synonymous with Semillon. Layers of spice weave intricately with hints of tropical fruits, including the luscious essence of passionfruit and the subtle sweetness of banana. Undertones of velvety vanilla add depth and sophistication, creating a sensory experience that captivates and delights.

The Semillon enhances the Bianco vermouth with its medium to full body, silky texture, and natural sweetness, balancing the herbal notes while contributing to the citrus notes.

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Rosato: Exuding a semi-sweet allure, the Piano Rock Vermouth Rosato boasts a symphony of flavours reminiscent of sun-ripened stone fruits. On the palate, plum and nectarine dance gracefully, complemented by a harmonious blend of herbs and spices. Its alluring blush hue, derived from the Davidson Plum, adds an elegance to this captivating Vermouth.

Like its counterpart Bianco, the Rosato is crafted on a base of Semillon, enriching its flavour profile with lush texture, subtle sweetness, and fruity notes. This harmonious fusion is balanced with herbal complexities, ensuring a refreshingly satisfying drinking experience.

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Rosso: Crafted from a blend of Witches Falls Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Piano Rock Vermouth Rosso exudes a dry and sophisticated character. Rich and intricate, it boasts a deep complexity with notes reminiscent of muscats, woven delicately with hints of coffee, indulgent chocolate, and a subtle touch of tobacco. Each sip unveils layers of depth, presenting a true delight for the discerning palate.

Though unconventional, the marriage of Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon in this vermouth yields a nuanced flavour profile: Semillon offers fruity notes and a textured layer, complemented by Cabernet Sauvignon's depth and indulgent chocolatey undertones. The outcome is a well-balanced and intricately complex vermouth.

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How to Enjoy Vermouth

While Vermouth undoubtedly shines as a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the Martini, Manhattan, and Negroni, its versatility surpasses these boundaries. This aromatic fortified wine is also delicious when savored neat or over ice, allowing the complex flavors to shine through.

Moreover, Vermouth serves as an excellent base for infusions and homemade cocktails, allowing drinkers to experiment with different flavours and ingredients to create their own signature drinks.

Vermouth & Food

Pairing Vermouth with food is an art form in itself, with the beverage complementing a wide range of cuisines. Try pairing sweeter Vermouths with salty snacks like olives and nuts, or rich desserts like chocolate or tiramisu. On the other hand, dry Vermouths marry well with seafood, salads, and light appetisers, enhancing the overall dining experience with their herbaceous notes.

Timeless allure

Vermouth epitomises the enduring charm of finely crafted beverages. Its rich heritage, versatile applications, and captivating flavour profiles firmly establish it as a cornerstone in mixology, and a delight for the discerning palate. Whether sipped neat, artfully blended into cocktails, or paired with a gourmet meal, Vermouth continues to captivate and inspire, inviting enthusiasts to explore its endless possibilities.

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