Tag: madeira

The islands of Azores and Madeira, a beautiful land of wines


Madeira wine, or just Madeira, is also known as Vinho Generoso madeirense or Torna-Viagem and is produced on the island for more than 500 years.

Departing ships loaded with wine that was considered of lower quality, enabled them to discover the power and consequences of longer fermentation. The wine was stored in the cellars of sailboats for more than a year and the heat in the tropical region along with the long journey across sea proved to transform ordinary wine into excellent nectar.

When fermentation went on to developing, we see the forming of 2 types of techniques that are the originates from the 2 kinds of wine that were used. The canteiro wine, fermented in barrels stored in the highest part of the storages in the early years, and moved further down as it ages (you can drink from the 4th year) Stoving wine, it is heated to 55 ° C for 3 months and can be consumed from the 3rd year. In the Azores, during the XIX century, stove wine was a strong-tasting drink similar to Jerez in taste and color.

Madeira is a fortified, enriched wine and with an alcoholic strength between 17º and 22º. It remains in oak barrels through a slow oxidation process to concentrate the wine. This type of wine is divided into Blend, wines of varying age, with an average of 10 years of the same strain, and Colheita (Added), wines from the same vintage and a single strain. They can be taken from 4 years, Vintage, aging at least 20 years and then must go through a test that determines the authorization to be bottled or not. These are wines of long age, high acidity, and freshness. You can find Vintage 1975 in perfect condition.

However, the fame of the island wines did not spread the same way from all the islands. TAGS:undefined

Wines from Azores – Past Vino (strain Malvasia) and dry wine – produced on the island of Pico, undergoing a process similar to that of Madeira, where fermentation was interrupted by adding brandy, as with the Port wine production of the wines of the Azores, it is not considered to be of lower quality than Madeira.

Probably not too many data exist on the subject, for a long time it was believed that the wine practice was limited to the islands of Pico and Graciosa but, in reality, all were devoted to the cultivation of vineyards. Although they were islands struggled with difficult weather and very stony conditions as a result of volcanic eruptions in the Azores, it still has produced very strong vines.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the islands suffered from an aggressive outbreak of powdery mildew, forcing the replacement of strains, such as Verdelho (Verdejo white), and instead, some American vines were planted (especially the Isabela strain, which today banned in Europe because of its high content of methanol).

The elaboration of spirits was considerably increased and multiplied in flavors from the molasses brandy on St. George Island, the dark spirit of Terceira Island and red, peach loquat and fig, from Pico Island.

The recovery of white wine was gradually achieved, and one of the examples of the history of wine in Azores is the Cooperative Winery of Graciosa Island.

In Madeira, the rum – Madeiran rum – white and aged, has won a central role. To learn more, one can visit the Engenho do Porto da Cruz, which is a museum center, near Casa del Ron, where you can take some exceptional reserves.

Among the strains traditionally used in the islands we can find:

Malvasia – One of the first stocks that reached the islands of Azores and Madeira during the first half of the fifteenth century. With this strain produces a sweet wine, with aroma similar to nuts and honey flavor notes. A perfect match with cheeses and chocolate.

Verdelho – a semi-dry wine, flavored ripe pineapple and tropical flavor is developed. Good pairing with soft cheeses and wines. This strain is common in the two archipelagos.

Cercial – With this strain one produces a dry wine, with citrus aromas and caramel. It is indicated as an aperitif or combined with nuts or olives. This strain is used in the two archipelagos.

Boal / Bual – The result is a semi-sweet wine with the aroma of honey and caramel flavor. It is indicated to combine with fruits, cheeses and desserts. Azores strain of high quality and used in the two archipelagos.

Black Ink – Some say that this strain is the result of crossing Pinot noir with Grenache (Garnacha). In Spain it is known as Negramoll and occurs mainly on the Canary Islands. Combine with vegetables, rice and white meat.

 TAGS:Blandy's Duke Of Clarence RichBlandy’s Duke Of Clarence Rich

Blandy’s Duke Of Clarence Rich: a fortified wine from the region of Madeira and shows an alcoholic content of 19%. Uvinum users reviewed this fortified wine with 3,7 of 5 points.



 TAGS:Blandys 5 Years Sercial Dry MadeiraBlandys 5 Years Sercial Dry Madeira

Blandys 5 Years Sercial Dry Madeira is a fortified wine made by Blandy from the region of Madeira and has an alcoholic content of 19%. 



Portuguese cuisine for beginners


Portuguese cuisine can be considered part of Mediterranean cuisine. Its 3 axes are bread, wine, and oil. But it also has a significant influence from the Portuguese ex-colonies of Asia, Africa and Latin America (Brazilian cuisine), mostly in the use of spices such as piri piri, paprika and cinnamon.

What is the basis of Portuguese cuisine? We will briefly explain below.

1. Bread:

The bread (called PAN or PAO) is one of the basic elements of Portuguese cuisine. It is not always made with wheat flour but is frequent made of corn (especially in northern Portugal). The bread is part of very traditional dishes such as açordas and breadcrumb lentils. Among the best known you find the round loaves and medium-sized Broa de Avintes called Fogaça and “caralhotas” Almeirim. The “pão-com-chouriço” are consumed at fairs and festivals. While in northern Portugal, the “balls” are popular (bolas) they are similar to rolls but are stuffed with minced meat inside them. In this case, it is a good choice to combine with a good port wine.

2. Fish and seafood:

There are a variety of Portuguese dishes based on fish and shellfish. They eat a lot of freshwater fish. With the exception of the cod, which is very present in the Portuguese cuisine. For a better the conservation of this fish, it is usually dried with salt, since it is often consumed in areas distant from the sea.

3. Soups:

During Fall and Winter, soups are an extremely popular part of the Portuguese cuisine. Among them, we find the chestnut soup that also can be eaten sweet, green broth consisting of sausage, cabbage, and potatoes that can be paired with a good red wine and “fejoada”. To achieve a good pairing, we recommend warm wines, preferably a rustic variety of Carignan.

4. Wines:

In addition to Porto and Madeira, there are also green wines from the north,  white wines and young Porto (generally made in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia), Madeira wine Carcavelos, or muscatel of Setubal, and also the red wine Borba or Dão, among others. However, wines from Portugal deserve a separate chapter… Stay tunned!

 TAGS:Ferreira Dona Antonia ReservaFerreira Dona Antonia Reserva

Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva: a fortified wine from Port made of tinta barroca, touriga franca, tinto cão, tinta amarela, tempranillo, tinta çao, port, tinta roriz, touriga nacional and touriga francesa and presents an alcohol content of 20.00%.



 TAGS:Blandy's Duke Of Clarence RichBlandy’s Duke Of Clarence Rich

Blandy’s Duke Of Clarence Rich: a fortified wine from the region of Madeira and shows an alcoholic content of 19%. 



Fortified wines for cooking: marsala, porto, sherry

 - The wines are our closest ally in the kitchen, not just for that shot that we took while we cook, but for the variety and intensity of flavors and aromas that are achieved by adding them to our recipes. While my neighbor is the largest specialist I know about cooking with wine, as I think all his recipes include its secret ingredient (by all accounts): old wine, I also use Marsala, Porto, Sherry and Madeira to cook quite often.

Many people know the benefits of these wines to accompany desserts. A glass of Porto with some almond cake bearing some black chocolate … mmmhhhh delicious! Or that sherry, in all its varieties, which take us from the appetizer, to the food (yes, of course you can eat with sherry, choosing the right variety) to get to the desserts and coffees, that may become mythical if you know a good wine to accompany sweet or fragrant Jerez.

Regarding these wines, I loved the article that Paco del Castillo wrote for El Mundo Vinos “The paradox of sherry” in June 2005. In his lines he tells us about the different types of this wine to be found and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of Jerez.

The Madeira wines are also very versatile. Made from four different grape varieties, depending on which they will result in sweet or dry wines. The first would be obtained from the Bual and Malmsey, while the dry ones are those from the Verdelho and Sercial. So it happens with the aging. From the reserve, which have rested for at least five years to the twenty guaranteed in the Colheita, all the way up to the Reserve and the Reserve Extra Velha, 10 and 15 years in wood respectively.

Sirloin steak, duck breast, chicken of course and many sauces, like the famous Madeira sauce, are some of the best combinations for this type of wine in the kitchen.

My favorite recipes with Port wines are prawns, beef round, pork tenderloin (also loin) and quail. Combinations with seasonal vegetables and fittings will depend on the tastes of each one and the chef inspiration.

And finally, in Jerez I love to cook seafood. Hake, red bream and squid or clams are my hits when I use dried varieties. With Jerez sweet varieties I enrich fruit based desserts or I prepare some steaks, turkey or meatballs with a different twist. Delicious!

Madeira Wines

 TAGS:Vino de Madeira

Madeira Wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced on the islands of Madeira (Portuguese islands of the Atlantic Ocean). This wine is the main product of this region’s economy besides also being a symbol of Madeira for the world. The Madeira Wine is famous for its undeniable taste and for being part of Portuguese gastronomy.

The history of the Madeira Wine

The elaboration of Madeira wine almost goes hand in hand with the discovery of the island in 1419 it was on the orders of Prince Henry, who introduced the first grape varieties from Candia (Greece), shortly after began arriving strains like Tinta Negra Mole, Sercial, Bual and Verdelho.

The significant necessity to supply of wine the ships sailing from the Atlantic to the New World and the Indies, made the Madeira wine gained fame throughout all Europe, and if we add the English presence on the island, its fame transcended America, even the independence of the United States (1776) was celebrated with this wine.

Not everything came up roses for the Madeira wine, there were years of crisis caused by diseases that damaged the vines, they has been about to disappear, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century. Today Madeira wine’s production reaches 4 million liters approximately and is one of the main products of Madeira and the most famous in the world.

Variety of wines from Madeira

Madeira wine has a leading player which is the Tinta Negra Mole, strain that occupies the 90% of the wine production, of which is developed dry and semidry wines. The other 10% is distributed between Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malmsey strains, which are used for the production of fine wines and with more aging. The Sercial strain is destined to semisweet and dry wines due to its high acidity, the Boal is used for sweet wines, as well as Malvasia and Verdelho.

The fortification deserves a new subject about – Madeira wines. These wines have an alcohol content ranging from 17 to 22% as volume terms as well as a sugar content ranging from 0 to 150 grams per liter of wine, this sugar excess the product of the interruption of the fermentation by adding alcohol in wine, all of this realized at different moments of the fermentation of the wine, either if they are dry or sweet.

As you see, Madeira wines have a long tradition and quality, although we often use them for making sauces. On the contrary, there are great Madeiras highly valued. Want to try any good Madeira? Today we recommend 2:

 TAGS:Madeira Blandy's SercialMadeira Blandy’s Sercial

The Sercial is one of the scarcest grapes in Madeira, and with which some of the finest wines are produced. In this case a Blandy’s wine from a winery with a long tradition.

Buy Madeira Blandy's Sercial 16,70



 TAGS:H & H Boal 10 Años 50clH & H Boal 10 Años 50cl

And speaking of tradition, H & H, the great brand from Madeira, offers us a single-variety wine from the grape Boal, which will leave you completely stunned.

 TAGS:buy H & H Boal 10 Años 50cl 24,16