Madeira Wine

Madeira is named after the island in Portugal where this unique wine is produced. It was discovered by a Portuguese explorer named Gonsalves Zarco, who was blown off course en route to West Africa. While resting on the smaller island he called Porto Santo, he could see another island through the mist and set off to check it out. This gorgeous island was so lush and covered with trees that he named it “Madeira,” which is Portuguese for “wood.”

Once the island was colonized and the land was cleared of many of the trees, the cultivation of sugarcane (from Sicily) began, as well as that of Malvasia grapes (from Cyprus). But because the Portuguese colony of Brazil was already profiting so well from the sugar industry, and making it  finer and cheaper than Madeiran product, the focus turned to wine production. Since Madeira is perfectly positioned within the Atlantic shipping lanes to be a natural port of call for ships on their way to and from the Americas or Africa and Asia Read more »

Mentor for Madeira Wines

Richard Jennings

Wine writer (and HR exec). I write a weekly column for Huffington Post, wine book reviews for NY Journal of Books, and my blog is http://www.RJonWine.com. I have over 38,000 tasting notes on CellarTracker, where I'm the most "favorited" TN author.

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Popular wines made in Madeira under $20

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Varietals Produced in Madeira View all

  • Verdelho

    History of the grape: Verdelho has existed on the island of Madeira in Portugal at least as far back as the 15th cent...

  • Malmsey

    History of the grape: Malvasia is one of those rabbit-like vines that likes to procreate, often spontaneously. For th...

  • Vermentino

    History of the grape: Little concrete history is known about Vermentino except that it has recently been identified a...

  • Bual

    Bual (or Boal) is a grape variety used in Madeira production. It is the second sweetest of the four noble Madeira gra...

  • Terrantez

  • Sercial

    Serial Madeira 

Popular Wineries in Madeira View all

  • Blandy's Madeira - (Grupo Symington)

    The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wi...

  • Broadbent Port

    "Broadbent Selections Inc. prides itself in representing some of the finest small family owned wi...

  • Blandy's

    The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine ...

  • Vinhos Barbeito

    Vinhos Barbeito was founded in 1946 by Mario Barbeito de Vasconcelos and has since then always be...

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Madeira on Snooth

  • Well one photo showed up, which I assume you'd already posted, once I ... ... ... famous for being used in Madeira, which is an exquisite sweet fortified wine from islands off Portugal.Tasting notes for their current offerings mention various fruit notes on the palate, but give me the impression it's a mostly dry wine, not least because there'... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello wine drinkers


  • Yes, indeed. Getting lubricated is what we are good at.  My place in ... ... in ... Let's not forget Madeira.  Of course, there are also those eccentric wines like Thackery's Pleiades that bear no vintage date, either.  Multi vintage wine is not as common these days as vintage dated wine, but more widespread than just Champagne and one wine f... Read More

    Forum post in the topic So What's Your Take, is 2006...


  • Henriques & Henriques Madeira Reserve 5 Year Old

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by BWeed


  • The sweet wines are very different depending on the production method. I'm ... ... on their own. Of those, Madeira has to be the most interesting. Not the sweetest of them, but the less sweet ones that retain salinity, acidity, and complexity. Absolutely wonderful wines; maybe the most complex in the world. Sweet sherries are good but again, ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE


  • As it happens I have three bottles of Vidal icewine in my apartment's wine ... got finished 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 bee... Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE


  • Hey, Lefty, welcome back!D, I haven't had Ice(Eis)wine(wein) yet, and I ... and I ... Give me the right Madeira, port, Tokaji, and I'm happy to sip away.  Not all sherries are sweet, but I've enjoyed some that are like liquid burnt caramel (JD was not so hot on those).  Beerenauslese will probably have to wait, as it's quite a bit more expens... Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE


  • So why'd it take so long to try one?  ;-)Have you had any or many ... ... ... rieslings, tokaji, port, madeira, etc. Read More

    Forum post in the topic ICE WINE


  • I'm with GregT that any sweet wine needs to have some zip.  Botrytis ... (25% Tinto Cao, 25% Tinta Madeira, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Sousão in the 2012 vintage).  I toy with the idea of finding a "real" port with the same great acidity, but then I realize I can get plenty of Rockpile and I'm taking no chances.  I have had a little Port that I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


  • OK, these look to be cabs or bordeaux blends from Napa with one outlier zin. ... moving directly to a Port or Madeira). Or, as a variation of a DV play, I'd open all five with only a friend or two at an afternoon-into-evening at my place. But that would be less likely because I'd probably go after more exotic game in that instance.  Next a mor... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Palate prep prior to enjoying...


  • We brought the wine to a Rosh Hashanah dinner last night.  There was lots ... ... the rest of a Rainwater Madeira that we had used in the chicken and figs.  Madeira is a pretty good bargain--hard to find any reason to spend more than about $25, usually around $20 for very good examples.  Makes for a nice after dinner drink with fruits and nut... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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