New to vermouth and wanting to pick up a dry and a sweet....which of these brands?
That sounds good to me. NP dry is a classic. I remember liking Vya sweet, but I didn't compare it at the time to whatever I bought next. I wouldn't fear a 750ml of sweet; it lasts a long time in the refrigerator with a vacu-vin cork in use.
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Noilly Prat dry. For the sweet, Vya for something bolder that also makes a nice vermouth cocktail, M&R for something more standard that will cost you considerably less. I haven't tried the Vya or M&R dry yet. The usual rule of thumb that I've heard is that of the classic vermouths, the French make better dry versions, and the Italians better sweet. So by that logic, M&R dry and NP sweet would be the last options to try.