Marsala Wine

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Marsala is the regional fortified wine of Sicily, Italy. As with other famous European fortified wines like Port or Madeira, it was originally produced not for local consumption, but export to Great Britain. In the 1770s, English wine merchant John Woodhouse began adding grape brandy to Sicilian wines so they could last the sea voyage home. The wines were already high in residual sugar from sun ripened grapes, and were a natural base for sweet wine. It met with instant success and over time, became a more refined product.
Well, some of it. For many years, there were no restrictions on the crops used for Marsala. The higher quality Inzolia and Grillo varietals were skipped in favor of Catarratto, which could be grown quickly and in huge amounts, but affected flavors. It was not uncommon for sugar, or worse, other artificial sweeteners, to be added to try and mask the acidity of Catarratto. Thus, most Marsala became known as a cheap cooking wine.
DOC laws were revised in Read more »

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Popular wines made in Marsala under $20

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Varietals Produced in Marsala View all

  • Nero d'Avola

    History of the grape: The name translates to “Black [grape] of Avola,” referring to the town in Sicily where it was f...

  • Palomino

    History of the grape: Palomino is split into three types: Palomino Fino, Palomino de Jerez and Palomino Basto. All of...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Grillo

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Catarratto

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Marsala on Snooth

  • Cantine Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Oro Dolce


    No written review

    Wine review by FALVINO68

  • Incanto Marsala Dry Fine I.P. D.O.P


    "Ambra", medium fluffy carameled plums on ripe red apple aroma. Soft cane sugar beginning, short apricot in middle and long lemony ending with ticklish tannins. Nice balance! 18% alc comes like a fall in pillows) Goes excellent with Montezumas 100% chocolate! Read More

    Wine review by ApelsecS

  • I drink more (fino) sherry as an aperitif than any other type. Have no problem ... for dessert. Sweet sherry, marsala, vin santo, Canadian icewine, Banyuls, etc. all fall into the 'other' category for me at dessert. And I usually have dessert wines as standalone dessert (well maybe with some cheese and nuts), since I find they almost always cl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • I've enjoyed drinking plenty of rieslings with venison. Depending on how ... ... too. Have sauced it with marsala, sherry and madeira (as in the pheasant recipe above), if you want to consider the last two whites.  Also have used any number of southern French whites when making a daube with a particularly tough old beast.My default for goose a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Need a wine for this birdie

  • Ran out of time during my last post so didn't flesh a number of things out. ... ... is trying to find a fine Marsala. Apparently they used to be rife, but that wine region has suffered a drop in prestige and economic relevance like few others over the past half century or more. Someday I'll be boots on the ground in Sicily chasing down the curr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE

  • As it happens I have three bottles of Vidal icewine in my apartment's wine ... a week ago. No Madeira or Marsala or Vin Santo or others for awhile. These bottles are part of a six-cases-of-wine and three-cases-of-sake allotment I received in kind for help with a wine auction.The eiswein I've bought and consumed in the past has been German, not... Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE

  • Okay, I'm back from Mexico.  JD guessed right.  It's a 2008 ... ... component of the veal Marsala dish - the textures of the wine and the funghi were different by the precise amount it seemed as the complement of each was delicious, and memorable. Drink now and for the next 5-6 years." I'm telling you, he has a future, our pal WineStrat--and ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015

  • Lots and lots of mushrooms on the market, depending on the time of year and ... thin towards the end with marsala or madeira. Then serve on toast points. Good starter course. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Just picked up 3/8 of a pound...

  • Had some near Taormina a couple of times. Chilled. Sweet, obviously infused into a white (not Marsala) with almonds and some herbs, but uniquely refreshing in that context. I didn't ask whether they chaptalized or stopped fermentation or how they achieved the sweetness and alcohol levels. We were at a bar on a hilltop with that view, and the per... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking for almond wine

  • at one time sicilian marsala wine in different flavors almond, tangerine .mandarino was bing imported in triangle shaped bottles To my knowledge as a wine retailer in NYS its been about 10 yrs since that was last available in NY.Guess you have to make another Sicilian visit  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking for almond wine

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