Wine is a popular drink around the world, and its popularity seems to be increasing as more people embrace the drink. However, not many people know about fortified wine, and even those who have heard it may not be sure what it entails. If you are curious about this type of wine, sit back, relax, and read on!
What is Fortified Wine?
Fortified wine is a type of wine that undergoes a different winemaking process than your usual wine wines.
Winemakers add a distilled spirit, such as brandy, to the wine near the end of the fermentation process. This extra step is known as “fortification.”
Winemakers make fortified wine by adding distilled spirits such as brandy to the wine after the fermentation process has started.
The added spirit stops the fermentation process, leaving residual sugar and increasing the alcohol content.
Most fortified wines are aged in barrels for a period of time to enhance their flavors. During the aging process, fortified wines can be exposed to air, which gives them a nutty, oxidized flavor. Fortified wines can also be blended to create different wine styles and flavor profiles.
The alcohol content of fortified wine is typically between 17% and 22% ABV, making it considerably higher than other wines.
Varieties of Fortified Wine
There are several varieties of fortified wine. For example, Port wine is a sweet, fortified wine that is typically served as a dessert wine.
Sherry is another type of fortified wine that comes in a wide range of styles, including Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez.
Vermouth is a fortified wine that is used in cocktails such as the Martini, Negroni, and Manhattan. Madeira is another fortified wine that comes from the island of Madeira in Portugal. Madeira wines come in several styles, including Sercial, Verdelho, Boal, and Malmsey.
Best Pairings for Fortified Wine
Fortified wines are best paired with desserts or served as an aperitif.
Port wine pairs well with chocolate, cheese, and dessert dishes that have fruit or caramel.
For its part, sherry is a versatile fortified wine that can be paired with a variety of foods, including sushi, cured meats, and salty snacks.
Madeira pairs well with spicy foods and is also a great choice for desserts with chocolate or caramel. A good Vermouth can be paired with foods such as desserts, blue creamy cheese, or charcuterie.
Wrapping It Up
Fortified wine is a unique type of wine that goes through a different winemaking process, giving it a higher alcohol content than other wines.
The different types of fortified wines available (such as Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Vermouth) have different flavor profiles suitable for various occasions.
In general, fortified wine is best paired with desserts or served as an aperitif. Also, fortified wine has numerous health benefits, making it a great choice for a relaxing evening.
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