Rouge Gorge Cider Vermouth, Domaine Lafrance, Quebec
Ah, vermouth. The fortified flavoured wine we all know and love to include in our Martinis. Or sip as an aperitif. The vermouth has evolved since its Italian birth in the mid- to late-18th century. You can find vermouths in sweet, dry, extra-dry, red, amber, rosé and, now, cider.
Rouge Gorge is produced by Quebec-based orchard, cider house and distillery, Domaine Lafrance. It’s a very dark, almost solid-looking caramel brown colour, with a slight, sweet taste reminiscent of Coca Cola (the original, not the diet or what-have-you). Apples pop on the palate, which shouldn’t be a surprise given it’s a cider-based vermouth. The combination of those flavours, one right after the other, is oddly appealing. It finishes warm with hints of berries and hangs on, lingering for a really long time. I found the end a bit unpleasant – tingled and was a bit sour – but others I tasted with found it nice.
Overall, the Rouge Gorge is smooth and sip-able. A nice change from the standard vermouths and a great conversation starter for your next party.