Julia Child's favorite vermouth for cooking?
- Sarah Apr 12, 2012 09:24 PM
She also hints at a bad one(s) that should never be used. Anyone knows which is her fave and the one(s) to be avoided?
French dry vermouth - Noilly Prat. And yes it's a noticeable difference. (FWIW, Cook's Illustrated taste tests from years ago said that Gallo (American) dry vermouth would be second place, with Italian dry vermouths coming after that.)
A problem is that Noilly Prat changed the formulation of its long-dry American version about 3 years ago, to be closer to the more aromatic European formula, so the Noilly Prat of today is not what Julia cooked with States-side, as it were.
Sorry I didn't get into the list of those she might have recommended avoiding. Frankly, I don't recall which Vermouth wines were on the avoidance list. But seeing as how the Noilly Prat Vermouth of today is not (according to comments here) the same as yesteryears it looks like you're still on your own in selecting the best wine for the dish. Gallo???? I ain't so sure; and my faith in Cooks Illustrated recommendations isn't that strong either. Might be worth looking up a trusted sommelier in your neighborhood for the best advice.
I don't know what Julia Child liked, but Dolin (French) is pretty nice (for making drinks anyway, I don't know about cooking). There's also Vya, a California vermouth -- I've only tried the sweet one, but people seem to like it.
I would keep it cool (wine fridge or maybe the regular fridge), and dry vermouth especially doesn't keep forever. It's a fortified wine, not a liquor.