One of the most exciting aspects of maintaining a wine cellar is the opportunity to taste and collect bottles from across the globe. From authentic French Champagne to Australian Shiraz, there are endless varieties to try.
If you’re looking to add some global flair to your wine cellar, Madeira wine is a great option. Originating from the Madeira Islands, an archipelago located between the Portuguese and African coasts, this fortified wine has an extensive history and a wide variety of unique styles.
Below, we’re discussing everything you need to know about Madeira and why you should add it to your collection.
Madeira wine’s history extends back hundreds of years. In fact, the drink was enjoyed during Thomas Jefferson’s toast at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. While Madeira was a popular (and widely available) wine in the 19th century, it’s much rarer today, with only four companies actively producing it.
One characteristic that makes Madeira wine so unique is its aging process. While most winemakers try to avoid things like fluctuating temperatures and oxygen exposure, Madeira producers embrace these “faux-pas.” Specifically, Madeira is heated and cooled repeatedly and exposed to oxygen throughout the aging process. This method creates a high acidity, which helps to preserve the wine. In fact, Madeira is so well-preserved that it is one of the only varietals that can be cellared for 100 years or more.
There are two main types of Madeira wine: blended and single-varietal. Blended varieties are typically inexpensive and lower quality, with only a few high-end styles. Examples of blended Madeiras include:
Single-varietal Madeiras are the highest quality styles available. They come in four different varieties, including:
With its many varieties and delicious flavor profiles, Madeira is an excellent addition to any wine cellar. For more information about the best Madeira wines to add to your collection, contact Cellaraiders today!