Wine, Wine Reviews

Fortified wines are perfect for everyday enjoyment

Fortified wines are perfect for everyday enjoyment
Fortified wines are perfect for everyday enjoyment

 

Fortified wines have been around for a few centuries, and enjoy popularity in many countries as aperitifs or after dinner drinks, but you can also enjoy them between meals like the English do.

Port, sherry, Madeira, Marsala are the most popular fortified wines.

English merchants “invented” port, Marsala, sherry and Madeira and popularized all, both in England and elsewhere in the world.

Port wines can be white, or red.

Red ports are made in a range of styles. White ports are mostly off dry and can be invigorating aperitifs in mall quantities.

Nowadays, at leas some port wineries also make delectable dry port table wines.

Sherries from southwestern Spain can be bone dry and deliriously sweet, and everything in-between.

The same is true fro Marsala and Madeira.

The evolution and story of each makes for captivating stories and fascinating reading.

These days, practically all fortified wines represent excellent value. They range anywhere from 17 to 20 per cent ABV, and can be enjoyed as aperitifs, digestives and employed to enhance sauces.

After opening a bottle, you can keep the wine for a few days without fearing excessive oxidation.

Here are some I tasted recently:

Port wines

White Port, Taylor-Fladgate
86/100

LBV (Late Bottled Port) 2009,.Pocas
87/100

LBV , 2009, Taylor-Fladgate
88/100

LBV, 2009, Graham
89+/100

10-Year-Old Tawny Port, Graham
88+/100

20-year-Old Tawny Port, Graham
90/100

10-year-old Tawny, Taylor-Fladgate
91/100

Sherries

Don Nuno, E. Lustau
88/100

Almacenista Pato de Gallina, E. Lustau
90/100

East India, E. Lustau
88/100

Oloroso, Gonzales-Byass
87/100

Solera 1847, Gonzalez_Byass
88/100

Vermouths are infused with herbs and fortified with brandy. France and Italy make a range of white and red vermouths. Dry vermouths are delightful aperitifs; sweet versions are used in cocktails or as social drinks during receptions or in cooking.

Once opened they keep fro two to three weeks when refrigerated.

Carpano, Cinzano, Martini e Rossi, Cocchi, Contratto, Gancia, Stock, and Noilly et Prat are some of teh more famous vermouth producers.

The Antica Formula vermouth from Carpano tastes great.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Hrayr, I’ve got a curiosity. I like to drink wine but was never a real fan of port even though I try it every now and then at a bar or restaurant. You mention that ‘after opening a bottle, you can keep the wine for a few days without fearing excessive oxidation’. I understand you are referring to fortified wines here. I have two questions on this;
    1. What exactly do you mean by ‘a few days’? Is it like 2-3 days or 6-7 days?
    2. What about normal wine. How long do you consider it acceptable to leave a normal wine bottle open before oxidation kicks in?

    Thanks

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