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 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

  • Bual

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

  • Sercial

    Serial Madeira 

  • Terrantez

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Madeira View all

  • Vinhos Barbeito

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

  • Broadbent Port

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

  • Cossart Gordon & Co.

    Cossart Gordon & Co. was established in 1745 and is the oldest company in the Madeira Wine trade....

  • Blandy's Madeira - (Grupo Symington)

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

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Madeira on Snooth

  • I don't know DM - you're probably right in that it became something ... ... even more like home made Madeira. Who kne Read More

    Forum post in the topic need some quick help thanks

  • Yeah - asparagus is really hard. You kind of want a white that has some herbal ... tawny Ports, some sherries, Madeira, vin santo, etc., would be good companions. One of the world's best chocolatiers actually did a tasting a few years ago with Wine Spectator and they came to the same conclusion.As far as sparkling wines go - that's an interest... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Twist on surf and turf and...

  • "ginger soy braised beef with crispy rock shrimp tempura(think Nobu style) ... work with the fruits too. Madeira too, but a Bual or a sweeter one wold be bes Read More

    Forum post in the topic Twist on surf and turf and...

  • Hi All!  I could really use some advice.  My husband and I run a ... ... for the first course.  Madeira came up for dessert. Any thoughts and insight would be greatly appreciate Read More

    Forum post in the topic Twist on surf and turf and...

  • OK, some proposals:1) asparagus: just about the only wine that reliably works ... its flavor profile, sercial madeira works just fine and an interesting complementarity of sweetness arises. Again, if baked with other ingredients (especially with a cheesy or creamy sauce), other options open up.4) blued cheese: port is about the only thing that... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Matching challenge *4*: what...

  • Asparagus - a green Sauvignon Blanc. Probably the artichoke too, although ... ... ... is oloroso sherry, maybe Madeira. But beer is better.I'm with you on that avocado too - something I've only learned recently. The problem is that Big Al probably can't get them - the Hass ships well and produces reliably and you don't see any other types on t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Matching challenge *4*: what...

  • Fortified wines are red or white?Sercial Madeira is red or white?What is a rose/rosy wine? it is white or red?  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Fortified wines are red or...

  • The origin of the broadbased decanter was during the Age of Exploration. They ... Maderia during that era (the Madeira often having been sent to Goa and back as ballast to enhance the oxidative effects, anyway).  Don't have to have a broad or narrow type of decanter for the sediment-removal process, though lighter ones are easier to hold and/o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Stupid Decanters

  • It is possible to order online and that's pretty much the only way I buy ... I would get them a bottle of Madeira. You can't really ruin that wine. It's already been heated and oxidized so it's not going to be harmed by more heat and oxygen. That's the only wine like that however. It comes in dry versions and sweet versions and my hunch is tha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Of course I remember the thread!So for the first pairing, I'd go with a ... of the stuff, maybe a dry Madeira, but that's going to overwhelm things like the tof Read More

    Forum post in the topic Matching challenge *3*: what...

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