Madeira Wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced on the islands of Madeira (Portuguese islands of the Atlantic Ocean). This wine is the main product of this region’s economy besides also being a symbol of Madeira for the world. The Madeira Wine is famous for its undeniable taste and for being part of Portuguese gastronomy.
The history of the Madeira Wine
The elaboration of Madeira wine almost goes hand in hand with the discovery of the island in 1419 it was on the orders of Prince Henry, who introduced the first grape varieties from Candia (Greece), shortly after began arriving strains like Tinta Negra Mole, Sercial, Bual and Verdelho.
The significant necessity to supply of wine the ships sailing from the Atlantic to the New World and the Indies, made the Madeira wine gained fame throughout all Europe, and if we add the English presence on the island, its fame transcended America, even the independence of the United States (1776) was celebrated with this wine.
Not everything came up roses for the Madeira wine, there were years of crisis caused by diseases that damaged the vines, they has been about to disappear, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century. Today Madeira wine’s production reaches 4 million liters approximately and is one of the main products of Madeira and the most famous in the world.
Variety of wines from Madeira
Madeira wine has a leading player which is the Tinta Negra Mole, strain that occupies the 90% of the wine production, of which is developed dry and semidry wines. The other 10% is distributed between Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malmsey strains, which are used for the production of fine wines and with more aging. The Sercial strain is destined to semisweet and dry wines due to its high acidity, the Boal is used for sweet wines, as well as Malvasia and Verdelho.
The fortification deserves a new subject about – Madeira wines. These wines have an alcohol content ranging from 17 to 22% as volume terms as well as a sugar content ranging from 0 to 150 grams per liter of wine, this sugar excess the product of the interruption of the fermentation by adding alcohol in wine, all of this realized at different moments of the fermentation of the wine, either if they are dry or sweet.
As you see, Madeira wines have a long tradition and quality, although we often use them for making sauces. On the contrary, there are great Madeiras highly valued. Want to try any good Madeira? Today we recommend 2:
The Sercial is one of the scarcest grapes in Madeira, and with which some of the finest wines are produced. In this case a Blandy’s wine from a winery with a long tradition.
And speaking of tradition, H & H, the great brand from Madeira, offers us a single-variety wine from the grape Boal, which will leave you completely stunned.