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Fortified Wine

A fortified wine is a delicious, viscous wine-based sipping treat that is often enjoyed as a drink before or after dinner. The most common types include Madeira, Marsala, Port, Sherry, and Vermouth.

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” Galileo

A fortified wine is a delicious, viscous wine-based sipping treat that is often enjoyed as a drink before or after dinner. The most common types include Madeira, Marsala, Port, Sherry, and Vermouth.

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” Galileo

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Showing 1–12 of 15 results

Fortified wine is wine that’s had a distilled spirit, usually Brandy, added to it during the winemaking process, in order to boost its alcohol content. In the course of some centuries, winemakers have developed many different styles of fortified wine.

The rules and guidelines for making fortified wine vary depending on the region. Here are some of the most popular types:

The rules and guidelines for making fortified wine vary depending on the region. Here are some of the most popular types:

  1. Sherry: This fortified wine is produced in the Jerez region of Spain and is made from the Palomino, Muscat, or Pedro Ximénez grape. Sherry production is unique in that the winemaker intentionally exposes the wine to oxygen, which imparts a nutty and briny flavor profile. Sherry is fortified with brandy and typically clocks in at around 15 to 18 percent alcohol. It should be refrigerated but will retain its freshness about four times as long as a typical wine.
  2. Port wine: Port wine comes from the Douro Valley region of Portugal. There are many varieties of port, but its most popular form is a sweet red wine perfect for a post-meal digestif. If you are looking for a different type of dessert wine, you might consider a white port, rosé port, ruby port, or tawny port.
  3. Vermouth: Vermouth is an aromatized wine, a fortified wine flavoured with fruits, herbs, spices, and florals. Dry vermouth, sometimes referred to as French vermouth, has a distinctly crisp and floral character. Dry vermouth is produced by blending white wine with herbs and spices before adding brandy for fortification, and is used in the classic Martini. Sweet vermouth, sometimes referred to as Italian vermouth, has a heavier mouthfeel and a more caramelized, fruity character. Sweet vermouth finds its home in countless classics like the Manhattan and Negroni, but it can also be enjoyed on its own with a bit of ice or soda.
  4. Madeira: This type of fortified wine gets its name from Portugal’s Madeira Islands, the region where it’s produced by a unique artificial heating process known as estufagem. Types of Madeira range from dry wines served as an apéritif to sweet wines served with dessert.
  5. Marsala: Marsala is a fortified wine from the island of Sicily. It is available in both dry and sweet varieties. Marsala is produced using white Italian grapes and, depending on its type, contains between 15 and 20 percent alcohol. The various types of Marsalas are classified depending on their sweetness, age, and colour.
  6. Moscatel de Setúbal: This a Portuguese fortified wine that comes from the municipality of Setúbal. Guidelines specify that it must be made with at least 85 percent Muscat white grapes and contain between 16 and 22 percent ABV. Moscatel de Setúbal is definitely on the sweeter side and commonly has notes of apricot and orange zest.
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