I had read about these in the New York Times last year, but it wasn't until today that I was able to finally try the Uncouth Vermouths for myself. Made in Brooklyn by Bianca Miraglia and dedicated to both transparency and sustainability, the wines are made with ingredients either personally foraged by Bianca herself, or purchased from a nearby farm. You can read more about her mission statement here and further explore the Uncouth Vermouth site here to see photos and learn more about their production.
Having just tasted through the lineup of five, I was quite impressed. These are very much aromatized wines and not liqueurs, much like a more heavily-flavored Lillet. In no way are they sweet or over-the-top, rather focusing on subtle intensity and purity of flavor. I thought the eucalyptus-beet and lavender-chile expressions were the stand-outs, but they're all pretty great. We're not getting any more beyond what we were able to purchase, so these are quite limited to what we have on hand.
David OG's notes are below:
Uncouth Apple Mint Vermouth 500ml $39.99 - The vermouth renaissance is upon us. As excitement builds for aromatized and aperitif wines, there's no question that Uncouth's founder Bianca Miraglia will be heralded as a pioneer if not a visionary. These spectacular products are the result of an unwavering commitment to transparency, sustainability, and creating the best possible vermouth. All ingredients are foraged or sourced farm-direct, while the wines are sourced from top quality vineyards in Long Island and the Finger Lakes. There is never any coloring, sugar, or any other additives in any Uncouth products making them perhaps the only producer of vermouth who can make such a claim. The apple mint vermouth is somewhat of a misnomer because it actually contains no apple. Instead, it uses a variety of mint that has a distinct apple character. Absolutely refreshing and delicious.
Uncouth Beet Eucalyptus Vermouth 500ml $39.99 - Here the eucalyptus takes a back seat to the sweet earthiness of the beets. The color is a vibrant pink and the flavors are perfect for pairing with all types of summer fair or mixing with whiskey!
Uncouth Butternut Squash Vermouth 500ml $39.99 - This is by far the most esoteric flavor profile from the line. The fresh sweet aroma of peeled butternut pops right out of the glass. On the palate and subtle earthiness balances out that strong aromatic element. Seems like this is the perfect accompaniment for your ham or turkey!
Uncouth Pear Ginger Vermouth 500ml $39.99 - This is perhaps the easiest of the bunch to wrap your head around. Straight forward, but incredibly delicious - the creative combo of fresh pear and spicy ginger works wonders. While this is perfectly wonderful on it's own, I'm desperate to experiment with this in my cocktails. There's lots of potential to mix with rum, agave & definitely gin.
Uncouth Serrano Chile Lavender Vermouth 500ml $39.99 - The Serrano Chile Lavender is a wild concoction, using a base wine of sweet racy riesling from the Finger Lakes, the lavender is very subtle, which is good because I was worried it would go soapy. It doesn't! It's the perfect balance of sweetness, acid, heat, and bitter. For some weird reason this kind of reminds me of amontillado sherry or madeira, but then the chile comes in and smacks you around a bit. A triumph.