Italian distiller launches pink, orange and red vermouths in new Starlino range

Starlino vermouths

A new range of vermouths and aperitivos has been launched by a leading Italian distillery under the name of Hotel Starlino in the UK and overseas.

The line-up comprises pink, orange and red vermouths or aperitivos, all made at the Vergnano family’s Torino Distillati in Piedmonte in north-eastern Italy.

They have been launched this month in the UK by their distributor, fine wine and spirits company Biggar and Leith, and will be available in other countries around the world.

Beppe Ronco, master distiller and winemaker at Torino Distillati, said: “Torino is the birthplace of vermouth and here at Torino Distillati we’ve been making them for around 100 years. We are seeing a huge resurgence of interest in vermouths and aperitivos and wanted to create something new, fresh and delicious to bring this forgotten but wonderful category back to life. Vermouths are showing signs of being the next big thing.”

The packaging for the Hotel Starlino Vermouths and Aperitivos is inspired by the early 20th-century Italian design and architectural style, Stile Liberty – an Italian variant of Art Nouveau that is common around Turin.

The heavy apothecary-style bottles are finished with ceramic and wooden stoppers, reminiscent of an antique door knob.  The front label resembles a vintage luggage label and the back label an elegant old-fashioned “Do not disturb” door hanger. 

As for the brand name, Ronco explains: “We have so many friends and visitors to our distillery we sometimes refer to it as a hotel!”

All at 17% ABV, the three vermouths are made using traditional methods. They have an average shelf price of £23 for a 75cl bottle.

Starlino Rosé Aperitivo (pink vermouth) is a refreshing blend of rosé wine, spirit, pink grapefruit peel, orange peel and eight other botanicals including wormwood and coriander. It is recommended for serving over ice with a premium tonic or sparkling water, garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit or lemon.  

Starlino Arancione Aperitivo (orange vermouth) capitalises on the trend for orange wines – a type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice. The vermouth blends white wine and a distillate of Sicilian blood oranges (with Indicazione Geografica Protetta, or IGP, certification to prove their provenance) plus seven other herbs and botanicals. It is recommended for serving with tonic or soda.

Both the Arancione and Rosé vermouths are also recommended for serving as a Spritz: three parts Starlino, two parts sparkling Moscato wine and one part sparkling water.  

Starlino Rosso Vermouth (red vermouth) is a classic “vermouth di Torino” made from a blend of Italian white wine, Sicilian Ansonica and Cataratto wines and Marsala wine.  This is in turn blended with a selection of botanicals including wormwood, bitter orange and cloves.  The vermouth is then aged in ex-bourbon barrels for six months to give a rich, spicy, vanilla flavour. It is ideal for a Negroni, a Manhattan or served on its own on the rocks or with a splash of soda.

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