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Wine Secrets
Become a Wine Expert.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
Madeira is a fortified wine made on an island of the same name off the coast of Morocco. It is a province of Portugal.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
Madeira comes in four styles: Sercial (dry—though not bone dry), Verdelho (off-dry), Bual (medium-sweet), and Malmsey (sweet).

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
Henriques & Henriques makes heartwarming Madeira. The Sercial is all toast and caramel, nuts, and dried fruit, resonating calmingly on the palate. It's my favorite fortified wine right now.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
Madeira is the only wine that can be kept open indefinitely without losing character or finesse due to how it's made. Winemakers bake this fortified wine slowly—a process called estufagem—in open casks. This process caramelizes the sugars and oxidizes the wine intentionally, creating a characteristic caramelized flavor and a certain tang. The wines are often matured in casks after this process, resulting in nutty, toasty flavors and considerable complexity.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
You know how long a bottle of Madeira has been aged in cask by a glance at the label. The word reserve means more than five years, special reserve means more than ten years, and extra reserve means more than fifteen years. So-called vintage Madeira must have spent at least twenty years in cask and two in bottle before release.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
As with all wines, the longer Madeira is aged in cask, the moremultifaceted it becomes. And the better quality the wine, the more cask aging it can withstand.

Portuguese Wine - Madeira
The grape varieties used in Madeira are Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, Malmsey, Tinta Negra Mole, Terrantez, and Bastardo.

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