Winemakers create Australian vermouths

Steve Flamsteed at Giant Steps is freeing up his mind for another go at vermouth.

"There is no model for it," he says. "It's up to the botanicals. There are so many permutations.

"You'll think, 'I'm going to take this in a citrus direction or an oriental direction with different spices'. The next one I'd love to have a play at is a muscat one and the botanicals would be things like rose petals. That would be pretty cool I reckon."

Of course, not everyone is getting onboard Australian vermouth. Angove, a market leader, ceased production five years ago. The numbers simply didn't add up to continue production.

Causes & Cures Semi Dry White Vermouth: Texture. Texture. Texture. With curacao, gentian and star anise botanicals mingling with viognier (some distilled) expect an orange aniseed tang with a gentle sweetness. With ice.

Causes & Cures Semi Dry Red Vermouth: Looks like a deep cabernet and even smells a little like cabernet with bay leaf, mint and chocolate. Licorice and high spice livens up the palate. Winey taste will divide the cognoscenti.