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MADEIRA WINE - INSTANT EXPERT

Top 5 things you need to know about Madeira Wine

Madeira is a fortified wine – usually 17% alcohol content with a long and interesting history, has been the wine of choice to preside over the marking of many a historical occasion. From the finest dining rooms to the lowliest ships docks.

There are 4 main styles of Madeira : 

1)  Malvasia, fortified early to retain richness, is dark coloured and robust, distinctly sweet and mellow

2)  Boal, fortified after approx half the sugars have been converted to alcohol has a full-bodied fruity and well-rounded flavour and attractive smoky complexity.

3)  Verdelho ferments still further and is a tangy fine textured wine, elegant and dry.

4)  Sercial, the driest Madeira, light in colour and scented, is allowed to ferment until completely dry.

Selecting, Storing & Serving Madeira

As has already being mentioned, Madeira wines are available in different styles in relation to the sugar content - specially dry, medium dry, medium sweet (medium rich), and sweet (rich).

These four basic types of Madeira are each named after the main grape variety from which they are made. Malvasia, fortified early in order to retain the richness, which is its hallmark, is a rich dark coloured and robust wine, distinctly sweet and mellow. Boal, fortified after approximately half the sugars have been converted to alcohol, is a full-bodied and fruited wine with a well-rounded flavour and attractive smoky complexity. Verdelho ferments still further and is a tangy fine textured wine, elegant and dry. Sercial, the driest Madeira, light in colour and scented, is allowed to ferment until completely dry. On the label, you might also take into consideration various age categories which are as follows:

3 years old (Finest),  5 years old (Reserve),  10 years old (Old Reserve), 15 years old (Extra Reserve), and more than 20 years old (Vintage), made only with the very finest wines from a exceptionally good year and exclusively from one of the traditional grape varieties. These wines have to remain in cask for a minimum of 20 years after which they spend a further 2 years in a bottle. The remarkable longevity of Madeira is best exemplified by the Vintage, which can remain in excellent condition for 150 years and longer still in some cases.

For drinking – serve at room temperature

For cooking - You can't go past the web for a delicious Madeira sauce recipe next time you feel like a perfectly cooked steak for a special occasion or one of the many other uses for Madeira wine. Everyone has had at least one slice of Madeira cake in their lifetime.

What better opportunity than the new June 2018 TIKI TOURS 'Timeless Portugal & Madeira' tour to soak up and savour the atmosphere with these wines on their own home soil and perhaps bring a fine old bottle home with you.