Fortified wine is a very delicious type of wine that is consumed by people mostly before or after they have dinner.
Fortified wines are also known as still wine because a distilled spirit is added during the process of making it. Distilled spirit can be brandy obtained using fruit (grapes, apple…), Rum (distilled from sugar) or Gin obtained using neutral grains. They are stronger than the regular alcohol that people consume as their alcoholic content increases during the distillation process. This is one of the reasons why people consume it in smaller portions rather than having a glass full of the fortified wine. In some fortified wines, like Vermouth, additional aromatic flavors are often added to make it taste unique and distinct from other similar fortified brands that are available in the market.
There are a number of fortified wines that exist, however, the most common ones include, port, sherry, Madeira, Vermouth or Marsala. People generally consume Port, Sherry, and Madeira the most because of its distinct flavor that forces them to keep going back for more.
Madeira is a fortified wine that can be found mostly on the Portuguese Madeira Islands. Madeira wine can either be consumed with desserts or it can be consumed as an aperitif, which means that people can either have it before their meal or after. Madeira Wine is famous for the way wine is oxidized during the process with the help of heat and aging. The heat treatment given to the Madeira process during the winemaking process can help it last for a very long period of time. The flavor of this type of wine can vary as it can either be dry or sweet. It can also include flavors like caramel, peach, burnt sugar or hazelnut.
Port wine is a fortified wine that can be found in Portugal and it is produced in Douro Valley demarcated wine region. It is most commonly served along with dessert due to its rich and sweet flavor. When you taste this wine, you can feel a wide range of flavors that includes caramel, raspberry, cinnamon, chocolate, blackberry (…), flavors given by the aging in oak casks through the wood. The serving size of the port wine is smaller because it is more alcoholic than regular wine available in the market. In the case of Port, the addition of the brandy takes place before the wine has finished fermenting. This means that the wine retains some of the natural sweetness of the grape, making it rich and smooth on the palate.
Sherry wine is also a type of fortified wine that is made up of white grapes that can be found in Jerez de la Frontera a place that exists in Andaluzia, Spain. Sherry fortified wine can range from being dry to naturally sweet and there are sherry wines that are sweetened through the process of blending. Sherry wines are made up of Palomino Grapes that comes in a range of light to heavier versions. Each version has a different name which makes it easier for the people to identify the wine they want.
The sherry wine types include Fino, Manzanilla, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Moscatel, Amontillado, Pedro Ximenez, Medium pale cream or medium cream.
Fortified wines are different from simple wines, therefore; their storing and serving style also vary. It is better to serve fortified wines at room temperature rather than keeping it in the refrigerator before serving them. However, some brands advise keeping the wine after being opened in the fridge to preserve its properties. Fortified wines are designed typically to be consumed using small portions, and it can also be used to create different cocktails that are packed with flavors. Many people often replace regular wine with fortified wine when they are making a recipe that has wine as an ingredient.
Fortified wines are mostly served and consumed as an aperitif or they are consumed with desserts due to their high alcoholic content. However, if anyone wants to pair the wine with something then they can always use nuts, tarts, fruits or any dessert that has cream or chocolate as its main ingredient. Once opened the fortified wine should be consumed as soon as possible, depending on the style of wine and according to the characteristics of the bottle and information advised by the producer.