There’s vermouth, and there’s vermouth…

A cautionary tale about a cooking wine.

Yesterday we were shopping and on my list was vermouth, particularly the French variety produced just down the road from us in Chambéry. In most recipes requiring white wine I prefer to use vermouth as it has a greater depth of herby flavour and keeps well in the kitchen cupboard.


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So I was surprised to find no Chambéry vermouth in Auchan (a very large supermarket in Annecy) and decided to try a cheaper alternative, costing less than half the price of the 'real' thing, to see if it was any good.

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Unpacking the shopping, the bottle managed to topple over, breaking immediately with the liquid pouring everywhere.

Ah, we thought, the air will be redolent of herbs, especially the pungent aroma of wormwood (from whence cometh the name vermouth) and other delightful botanicals.

Huh! Far from it. There was absolutely no heady bouquet whatsoever, just a dull sticky mess with the only sparkle coming from the shards of glass.

I mopped the floor five times yesterday to clean up and still my slippers squeak as I prepare breakfast!

Yes, there is a moral to this story.

Don't buy cheap alternatives, search out the real stuff. Your cooking deserves it!

Do let me know what you think!