Sherry and Brandy? - Printable Version

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- robr - 02-02-2006 02:42 PM

I never see anyone post anything much about these two. Not very popular?

I seem to remember buying an Amontillado once years ago and it was really delightful... like a mouthful of firey raisins awash in creaminess.

- Thomas - 02-02-2006 04:07 PM

Oh yes, these are marvelous wines, but few talk about them the way we talk about table wine, and fewer still drink as much of these as of table wine.

Madeira is among the world's great sticky.

- robr - 02-02-2006 04:23 PM

I have never tried Madiera, is it white or red? What does it taste like? Is a good one terribly expensive? I think I have seen very cheap brands of it, but I did not try it because it was so inexpensive.

- Thomas - 02-02-2006 05:26 PM

Do not--I repeat--do not even consider buying a Madeira that is cheap and that was produced anywhere but on the island of Madeira.

Now, what do they taste like? Would heaven be too vague?

Madeira is produced from white grapes--there are five main grapes and five main wines.

Rainwater, Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, Malmsey. I believe there used to be a sixth or maybe still is...

The hallmark of Madeira is a caramel, nutty, dried fruit character. Each of the five wines offer a variety of ranges in character and in sweetness. I have listed them with the sweetest last.

The wines are sweet but they also have great acidity and fantastic balance, and they are the only wines that I know of that can be fresh and drinkable months, and even years, after a bottle has been open and left to sit on a shelf. The reason for that has to do with the way they are produced and virtually pasteurized.

- robr - 02-02-2006 05:31 PM

Wow! What a tantalizing description. What is the alcohol percentage? About the same as port?

[This message has been edited by bernkastler (edited 02-02-2006).]

- Thomas - 02-02-2006 06:08 PM

Yes, 18 to 20 %.

Madeira also has a great history. In fact, it was the most popular wine in the new United States, until the Civil War, when liquor and beer took over.

A decade before the Boston Tea Party there was a revolt at Boston harbor over a British customs agent trying to tax the un-taxed Madeira. The ship was owned by John Hancock. The British agents had to back down and let the shipment in after a riot ensued.

Washington's inaugural was celebrated with Madeira, not Champagne.

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 02-02-2006).]

- brappy - 02-03-2006 12:10 AM

I have 2 or 3 cases of various sherries in the cellar. I love to taste, and even more, drink sherry. There is one small drawback. Very few people appreciate sherry, especially a fino which is what I prefer. I still get to pop open a bottle here and there and whenever I find a great deal, I always pick that up.

Quick history: Years ago, I worked at a Tapas restaurant in the Chicago suburbs. I was a waiter there. The restaurant boasted a sherry list of approx. 100+ sherries and a few ports. I was asked by the owner, just after training what I thought about sherry. My reply was it reminded me of rubbing alcohol. He told me I had a bad attitude and had me stay after work for 2 weeks straight to taste sherry. Really the only reason this stopped was because it was getting expensive to open all those bottles.

My only mistake there was I should have told him I hated wine too.

- Thomas - 02-03-2006 09:20 AM

That's a smart boss.

- wondersofwine - 02-06-2006 10:15 AM

LOL at your sherry punishment.

- brappy - 02-06-2006 05:24 PM

Foodie, Yes, the best boss one could have. Knowledge was his key, which he used to train everyone. He was a very good teacher.

And yes, fun too.