Friday, June 28, 2013

Frankly, Madeira, I don't give a damn

Today's blog is going to be about Madeira wines. You don't know anything about these wines? You aren't alone, neither do I, really. I suspect many wine experts in this part of the world don't know much about them either; do an internet search for them and you'll hardly get any good results.

Madeira is an island off the coast of Portugal, where this style of wine making originated in the 16th century. These fortified wines are reported to be more viscous than normal wine, more like port or sherry.

If you want to read an interesting (and somewhat long) article about the history of these wines, go here:

So you are probably asking yourself, "Dean, why are you blogging about a little-used wine style that is made only in Portugal that hardly anyone knows anything about???".

A fair question. But I have a reason, faithful readers.

I have one in my collection. Sort of.

This is a link to the 2007 version, made by Cedarcreek, the only winery in the Okanagan (and probably in Canada) to make this style of wine. It's not a true Madeira obviously because, well, because the grapes aren't grown on the island of Madeira.

My bottle is actually from 2004, but I can't find anything on the web about that vintage. I do know (because it says on the bottle) that the grapes used in the 04 vintage are Pinot Auxerrois, not the Pinot Blanc used in the '07 vintage.

At $65/bottle, this is a pretty expensive wine to buy without knowing what it is going to be like, granted.....but I was curious. It's not often you see a white wine in a VQA wine store at that price point so I couldn't resist.

Judging by the article I linked to above, we can keep this wine for decades without it deteriorating (but we are supposed to change the cork every FORTY years LOL.....although this bottle is a screw top so clearly changing the cork isn't an issue!). But of course this article is referring to actual Madeira wines, not this "Madeira style" bottle, so I'm leery of letting it sit too long. I can't really find much information, even from the Cedarcreek website, so I've actually just sent them an Email to find out how and when I should be serving this. I will report back when I hear back from them.

Very intrigued!!!!

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