United States of Vermouth - A.G. Perino Vermouth Classico Sweet Vermouth
Origin: Washington, USA
Producer: Precept Wines
Wine Base: N/A
Known Botanicals: NA
Look - Transparent light hued chestnut color with red orange overtones.
Nose – A slightly funky earthiness with hint of papaya overwhelmed by sweet caramel with hints of vanilla. Fairly big, but one-dimensional.
Mouth – light orange citrus and mild savory spice quickly followed by very big slightly burnt sugary caramel. Dissipates to a slight alcohol burn followed by very mild taste of apple pie – savory spices with a very, very small tinge of tartness
The story behind A. G. Perino Vermouth goes like this. Washington-based megabrand Precept Founder and CEO Andrew Browne challenges his main winemaker, Hal Landvoigt, one drunken night to come up with a vermouth. After throwing a bunch of time and money at the project, Hal delivers. Precept’s marketing director, Alex Evans, is tasked for coming up with the name for this vermouth, so he pulls A. G. Perino out of the hat. Perino is ostensibly a clichéd Italian feller that Hal met somewhere along the line that exemplifies the abondanza and all the good things that Italians are good at – food, wine, generosity vermouth. If there is an A. G. Perino somewhere in this world, he has really little or nothing to do with this vermouth.
That said, one tries to turn away from the cynical marketing and turn to the product itself.
A. G. Perino Vermouth Classico Sweet Vermouth is definitely made to market to those who like their drinks to taste like desert. It is one of the cheaper vermouths on the market and definitely seems to be made with a lot of sugar and little spice and/or herbs. The overwhelming caramel and sweetness is not bad, if you like your vermouth to taste like candy. But the decided lack of complexity – and the lack of any balance of either fruit tartness, herbal overtones, and particularly bitterness – make this dumbed-down vermouth something that may have some mass appeal for those with sweet teeth, but for those wanting a bit more of a grown-up drink, it leaves much to be desired. I’m thinkin’, though, that it might be great on ice cream.
Wood / Vanilla 2
Bitter - 0
Astringent (barks, roots) 3
Vegetal / Herbal 2