Beverage of the Week (BOW)
Punt e Mes Vermouth
This has long been one of my favorite aperitifs and it has one of the best stories in the world of wine of and spirits (that's saying something). The quick version of the story is that a stockbroker enters a bar in Piedmont belonging to Antonio Benedetto Carpano. The brokers mind was still at work as he calls out for a Punt e Mes, "a point and a half," which is a traders term and not yet a drink. He was meaning to request a Vermouth with a half dose of bitters. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Carpano story begins in Turin in 1786 when Antonio Benedetto Carpano, a trained herbalist, invented the formula for the now famous Carpano Antica combining herbs and spices with muscatel virtually launching the Vermouth category. He soon developed a following. Carpano’s wine shop was situated just opposite the Royal Palace and, confident of the appeal of his new product, he sent a crate of vermouth to King Vittorio Amedeo III. The king took such an immediate liking to the drink and he adopted it as one of the royal household. In 1820 the Carpano brand was formally launched along with a new production facility. In 1982 Fratelli Branca Distillerie acquired 50% of Carpano and in 2001 production was transferred to Milan where it remains. The brand offers four unique products: Bianco, Dry (the latest), Antica Formula, and Punt e Mes.
Brilliant, crystal clear. The nose is deep and dense with a sweet, fruity wine core with generous supporting notes of bitter herbs, cloves, allspice, orange zest, and anise. The palate confirms the nose while possibly being more robust with a fruity, vinous core that brilliantly merges sweet Vermouth and bitters. Wonderfully intense and full-bodied with robust and assertive fruit and bitters in one ideally balanced package.
How to Serve
Punt e Mes is really in need of nothing but a glass and perhaps a few ice cubes. It's great over ice with soda and an orange slice offering the perfect summer refreshment.
Price: $ 18.99
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