Vermouth: technology of production and quality characteristics

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;63:251-83. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-384927-4.00008-7.


The aperitif wine, known as vermouth, is primarily prepared by adding a mixture of herbs and spices or their extract to a base wine. As such, it could also be called aromatized liquor, or a fortified wine. Various plant parts, such as seeds, wood, leaves, bark, or roots in dry form can be used in flavoring. These additives may be infused, macerated, or distilled in a base white wine, or added at various stages of preparation. The final liquid is filtered, pasteurized, and fortified (by the addition of alcohol). Some vermouths are sweetened, whereas other are left unsweetened (dry vermouth). These tend to have a bitterish finish. The two versions differ in alcohol content as well. Vermouths are most commonly prepared from grape-based wines, but fruit-based wines made from mango, apple, plum, sand pear, and wild apricot may also be used. These possess distinct physicochemical and sensory qualities from standard vermouths. The review gives comprehensive information on the historical developments and technology of vermouth production, the various spices and herbs used in its production, and its quality characteristics. In addition, the chapter also discusses the commercial potential of nongrape fruits in vermouth production.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Artemisia
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • France
  • Fruit
  • Greece
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Italy
  • Legislation, Food
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Quality Control
  • Sensation
  • Spices*
  • United States
  • Vitis
  • Wine / analysis*
  • Wine / classification
  • Wine / history