Does vermouth have the same health benefits as wine?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Does vermouth have the same health benefits as wine?

—Roberta, Reno, Nev.

Dear Roberta,

Vermouth starts out as a dry white wine, then herbs and spices are added to it, and then it is further fortified with spirits, bringing it up to about 18 percent alcohol. There are both dry and sweet vermouths; the sweet versions have sugarcane or caramelized sugar added to them.

It’s believed that vermouth and other versions of aromatized wines were originally created in ancient Greece and Rome for their health benefits. The idea was that the added herbs, particularly the bitter ones, aid in digestion. It eventually evolved from health elixir to cocktail ingredient by the end of the 18th century.

Our understanding of medicine has certainly changed since ancient Greece, and we now know that wine, particularly red wine, may offer myriad health benefits when consumed in moderation. I have not seen any health studies that particularly address the consumption of vermouth, so you should consult your physician before making it a part of your diet.

—Dr. Vinny

Health Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

Does food cooked with wine taste like wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why wine is such a popular recipe ingredient.

Nov 22, 2021

My basement wine cellar flooded. Are my wines ruined?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, explains what to watch for when a wine …

Nov 15, 2021

Are sulfates and sulfites in wine the same thing?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the difference between chemical compounds …

Nov 8, 2021

What does it mean to say a wine is "full-bodied"?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how we talk about a wine's structure and "body."

Nov 1, 2021

Is it OK to store wine in Styrofoam shipping containers?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, explains the pros and cons of storing …

Oct 25, 2021

What are biodynamic wine grapes?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains some of the farming principles applied to …

Oct 18, 2021