Why Should You Have Madeira Wine in Your Wine Cellar?

Why Should You Have Madeira Wine in Your Wine Cellar?

Why Should You Have Madeira Wine in Your Wine Cellar?

When it comes to keeping a wine cellar, one of the most fascinating elements is the ability to sample and collect bottles from all over the world. There are several kinds to choose from, ranging from original French Champagne to Australian Shiraz.

If you’re wanting to add a touch of international flair to your wine cellar, Madeira wine is a fantastic choice.

Fortified wine from the Madeira Islands, an island situated between the Portuguese and African coastlines, has a long and distinguished history, as well as a broad range of distinctive styles to offer consumers across the world.

We’ll go over all you need to know about Madeira and why you should consider adding it to your collection in the section below.

Madeira Wine’s Origins and Development

Madeira wine has a long and illustrious history that dates back hundreds of years. In reality, the drink was consumed at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, during Thomas Jefferson’s toast to the nation.

In the nineteenth century, Madeira was a popular (and readily accessible) wine; now, however, it is considerably more difficult to get, with just four businesses actively making it.

What is the process of making Madeira?

The maturing process of Madeira wine is one of the characteristics that distinguish it from other wines. However, although other winemakers avoid factors like changing temperatures or excessive oxygen exposure, the Madeira wine industry embraces these “faux-pas.”

The Madeira grape is heated and cooled frequently and is exposed to oxygen throughout the aging process, to be precise.

This process produces a high level of acidity, which aids in the preservation of the wine. In fact, Madeira is so well-preserved that it is one of the few varietals that can be stored in a cellar for up to 100 years or more.

Madeira Wine is available in many varieties.

A blend and a single-varietal Madeira wine are the two primary forms of Madeira wine. Blended types are often less costly and of inferior quality, with just a few high-end variants available on the marketplace.

The following are examples of Madeiras that have been blended:

Finest Madeira is a three-year-old blended type created from Tinta Negra grapes, and it is the most expensive.
Rainwater Madeira is a fruity combination that is matured for at least three years before it is made available to the public, according to the company. Tinta Negra grapes are also used in the production of this wine.

Reserve is a mix of five to ten-year-old barrels.
Special Reserve is a mix of ten to fifteen-year-old barrels.
Extra Reserve is a 15- to 20-year-old blend that is aged in oak barrels.
There are three distinct vintage blends available: the 20-year old, the 30-year old, and the 40-year old. All three are multi-vintage blends that are made up of wines from many different years. A professional panel must determine that the wines taste at least 20, 30, or 40 years old before they may be sold.

Single-varietal Madeiras are the highest-quality kinds of wine that can be found.

They are available in four distinct kinds, which include:

Sercial is the most vibrant and crisp of the styles, and it is often served at the beginning of a meal. It has notes of lemon and herbaceous herbs, as well as a faint sweetness to it.

Verdelho Madeira is a smokey, thick Madeira that is often served with soups. There are elements of smoke, spice, and caramel in this blend’s taste profile.

Boal is a sweet, fragrant style that is very great when served with sweets and sweet dishes. The flavor has been compared to roasted coffee, bitter cacao, salted caramel, golden raisins, and dates, among other things.

Malmsey is the sweetest and richest Madeira variety, with fruity and chocolaty aromas that distinguish it from the others. It’s often offered as a sweet treat alongside rich desserts or on its own as a sweet snack.

Wines from Madeira have distinct flavors that should be included in your wine collection.
Due to its many types and delectable taste characteristics, Madeira is a wonderful addition to any wine cellar’s collection.

Why Should You Have Madeira Wine in Your Wine Cellar?

A New approach to Madeira Wine

While you may not be familiar with Madeira wine, you may have taken a taste or two of it in your past. As a staple in French cuisine, Madeira sauce may be found on anything from roast beef and filet mignon to pork chops and poultry, among many other dishes.

It’s also on the menu at The Cheesecake Factory, where it’s supposedly the most popular chicken dish on the premises.)

However, although Madeira wine is a popular choice when it comes to cooking wines, it has a lot more to offer.

Throughout this guide, we’ll go into the specifics of this wonderfully unique Portuguese wine, including how and where it’s produced, the many varietals available, and the best methods to consume it.

Madeira Wine is a kind of wine produced in Portugal.

Originally from the Portuguese island of Madeira, which is roughly 300 miles off the coast of Morocco, Madeira wine is a fortified wine that has been aged for many years.

It’s created mostly from a few grape varietals, including Tinta Negra Mole, Sercial, Verdelho, Bual (also called as Boal), and Malvasia, and may be found in a variety of sweetnesses (aka Malmsey).

Fortified wines such as Marsala, Port, and Sherry are created using a distilled grape spirit, just as they are with other fortified wines like Marsala, Port, and Sherry (usually brandy).

Because of this additional dosage of alcohol, Madeira has a greater alcohol content when compared to a typical glass of wine — often 18-20 percent ABV against 12 percent ABV, which is customary in the United States.

As a result of the unusual maturing procedure used to produce Madeira, it is unlike any other sort of wine in the world (even its fortified counterparts). We’ll explain more in the next sections.

What Is the Process of Making Madeira Wine?

Typical fruits for making wine include Madeira and port.

The fermentation process is probably the most important step in the winemaking process – after all, it is the mechanism by which grape juice is transformed into wine!

When making a sweet or dry Madeira wine, the fermentation process will be interrupted in order to fortify it with the distilled spirit, depending on preference.

Fortification occurs before fermentation is completed, resulting in more residual sugar and a sweeter finished product. A drier wine with lower sugar levels will result if the spirit is introduced after the fermentation process has finished.

The similarities between Madeira and other wines stop there. Instead of doing all they can to keep their wines away from heat and oxygen (the two most common causes of wine spoilage), Madeira wine producers purposefully expose their wines to these two variables.

Heat may be transferred via an estufagem, which is a big container often constructed of stainless steel that is used to transfer the liquid. According to the temperature setting, the Madeira is heated for 3-4 months for this process.

Cantero is a technique of heating Madeira that is similar to the first. Wine is stored in barrels (often oak casks) that are suspended from the attic rafters so that they may absorb the heat from the sun. In this case, the procedure lasts at least four years.

We’re aware of what you’re thinking at this point, too. The whole thing seems to be a little odd and obscure.

And it is from this place that the practice has its origins. At one time, merchants would carry Madeira wine in barrels that had to travel vast distances from the little Portuguese island to reach their destination.

These tropical excursions, of course, entailed a variety of temperatures and exposure to the weather.

This “vinho da roda” (round-trip) was thought by shippers to be beneficial to the wine’s taste, rather than harmful. As a consequence, a completely new method of winemaking was developed and implemented.

Can Madeira be enjoyed indefinitely?

When left unopened for years, the majority of bottles of wine will ultimately degrade. An unopened bottle of Madeira wine, on the other hand, may endure hundreds of years owing to its peculiar heating and maturing process.

The Madeira wine may keep for months, if not years after it has been opened. The oxidation of Madeira wine does not result in the formation of an acidic liquid, as is the case with other types of wine. All that is required is that the wine is stored correctly, in a cool, dark place away from heat.

Ultimately, the very long shelf life of Madeira wines makes this a top-tier investment in terms of wine quality and longevity. It has the potential to endure a lifetime or even longer in certain circumstances.

Why Should You Have Madeira Wine in Your Wine Cellar?

Madeira Wine is available in a variety of styles.

In most cases, red grapes are used in the production of Madeira, although white grapes are also often used. It doesn’t really matter what color the grapes are since Madeira develops an amber or toffee-like hue as a result of heating and oxidation during the making of the wine.

All Madeira wines include high levels of acidity; yet, they range in terms of sweetness and taste intensity. Here are the most common categories you’ll come across, along with samples of each type:

It's not wet (Seco). There are no better words to describe this style than "driest, crispiest, and most fresh-tasting." As an example, consider the term "Serial."

Medium-Dry (Meio Seco): This taste has a somewhat spicy, smokey, and caramel-like flavor that is reminiscent of caramel. Verdelho is a good example.

Lightly sweet, with tastes of burned caramel, coffee, chocolate, and raisins. Medium-sweet (Meio Doce): A light, somewhat sweet flavor with flavors of burnt caramel, coffee, cacao, and raisins. Bual is a Madeira wine that exemplifies this kind of Madeira.

Sweet (Doce): The Malvasia belongs to this category since it is the sweetest style and has rich chocolate flavors to accompany it.

The Tinta Negra Mole vine is used to manufacture all sorts of Madeira wine, so check the label to see what amount of sweetness you're receiving before drinking it.

Why Does Aged Wine Taste Better?


Tips for Getting the Most Out of Madeira Wine

Madeira wine: The typical red wine of Madeira

However, although we definitely don’t want you to feel constrained by any restrictions regarding the “right” way to drink wine, there are certain suggestions you may follow to help you get the most out of your wine-drinking experience to date.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to enjoy Madeira wine, including the optimal temperature for serving, delectable food combinations, and even the kind of glass you should use. Finally, it’s time to pour some wine, sit back, and relax.

A general wine temperature recommendation can be used for the majority of Madeira wines. If you want to keep the fresh crispness of the dry Madeira, serve it slightly cooled around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour sweet Madeira when it’s just a little colder than room temperature to provide the best flavor.

Dishes to Enjoy Together

Verdelho, Terrantez, and Sercial, which are dry varieties of Madeira, are excellent aperitifs. Wines from Madeira should be served with olives, salads dressed in a tart dressing, sushi, or smoked salmon.

Serve it with creamy sheep’s milk cheese or goat cheese for a delicious cheese-paring experience. Desserts like apple pies and other delicious pastries are also excellent pairings for this wine.

Dried fruit wines such as Malvasia and other sweet Madeira varieties make great digestifs and dessert wines.

Serve it with blue cheeses, dried fruit, decadent dark chocolate desserts, and sweet pastries topped with nuts, honey, or berries for a delicious combination. Pour a quality Madeira on its own and enjoy it like a great Cognac if you have one.

Glasses of Different Types

It may seem a little arrogant, but it’s really fairly scientific: the kind of wine glass you use while drinking wine makes a difference in the taste of the wine. It has been revealed that the form of a wine glass has an effect on the way wine vapor rises, which in turn has an effect on the flavor and smell you perceive while drinking.

Use regular white wine or sparkling wine glasses for Madeira wines that are drier in style. Using these glasses, you will have enough room to swirl the wine, which will allow it to aerate and release its scent before you take your first drink of the beverage.

Small Port wine glasses or other dessert wine glasses are ideal for sweeter Madeiras. A snifter, which is typically used for brandy or bourbon, could also be used instead of a wine glass.

In any case, these sorts of glasses feature a smallmouth that will reduce evaporation while increasing the intensity of the scent in the beverage.

Take pleasure in Madeira’s enchanting world.

The Madeira wine region produces some of the most peculiar wines on the planet. While Madeira is comparable to other fortified wines in that it has a greater alcohol concentration and a longer shelf life, it is a unique wine in its own right..

A robust wine that spans from dry to sweet and contains a variety of tastes, Madeira is not merely a wine for cooking or desserts.

Furthermore, Madeira’s unique usage of heat and oxygen contributes to the wine’s unique reputation as a wine that can be kept for an indefinite amount of time (or close to it.)

Now that you’ve learned more about Madeira wine, you may want to consider including it in your next wine tasting party itinerary.