Madeira is a fortified wine that has toasted, acidic and mature flavours and often also date notes. It is made on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
The sweetness of Madeira varies depending on the Madeira type. A characteristic feature is a delicate burnt or oxidised flavour, which is the result of heat treatment.
Madeira is a flexible wine that can be used for socialising, as an aperitif, with appetisers and desserts, depending on the Madeira type.
Madeira is a great aperitif and a perfect wine for socialising. Dry Madeira wines are also a classic match for food, especially soups and broths. Sweet Madeira wines go well with dried fruits, chocolate, and nutty cakes and pastries.
Serve Madeira wines slightly chilled, at 14–16°C.
The method of production of Madeira wines is unique: the wine is heated gently during the ageing process. This method dates back to the times when it was discovered that the flavour of the wine had improved during voyages to America and the Far East in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The classic Madeira styles can also be discerned by their level of sweetness: sercial is dry, verdelho medium-dry, bual medium-sweet and malvasia sweet.
Madeira has the longest shelf life of all wine types: once opened, it can keep for several months.