If you wanna understand Vermouth first of all you need to see a bigger picture that Vermouth belongs to the same category as Sherry or Port which are Fortified wines. Fortified wines are wines to which small percentage of alcohol has been added . Now let’s get closer in the description because Vermouth is also part of the subcategory called Aromatised wines which are wines that has been infused with botanicals(herbs and spices) for flavour and colour. And lastly we can also distinguish vermouth from other Aromatised wines due to its being flavoured with ”Artemisia Absinthium” Wormwood.
The word Vermouth is derived from the word wormwood which is one of the essential elements in order to be called Vermouth.
From the historical point of view modern Vermouths originated in Italy(Torino) and France(Chambery) although it has never been officially categorized this way but many cocktail books refer to French vermouth as a Dry Vermouth and Italian as a ”red” Sweet Vermouth but of course today producers in both countries produce Dry and Sweet styles.
Today Vermouths are still categorized as a Dry and Sweet with medium-sweet addition of Bianco Vermouth. All the vermouth brands can be distinguished by their unique botanicals, flavour profiles and the level of sugar Extra Dry, Dry, Semi-Dry, Semi-Sweet or Sweet.
How to serve and store Vermouth
Vermouth can be enjoyed as an aperitif or mixed in a number of classic cocktails.
Although Vermouth has a much higher percentage of alcohol than wines but because its alcohol content is lower than most of the spirits it will begin to oxidize once it has been opened and exposed to the air so I would highly recommend to store your Vermouth in the fridge.