The Lombardo winery has been producing Italy's finest Marsala wine for well over 100 years. In fact, of the major Marsala producers only Lombardo is family owned and bears the family name on the label.
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"This dry version of Sicily's most famous fortified wine boasts lingering tones of pinecone, walnut and custard for a more austere and powerful style. This Marsala is deep brown in color and very spicy on the close."
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Many grapes can be used to make this wine. The most frequent ones are Grillo, Catarratto, Inzolia to name but a few. This Marsala is best used in cooking for making a classic Marsala sauce, risotto or in desserts and cakes.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Dark amber, with hints of dates and apricots; sweet, full, warm and harmonic with an elegant, dried fruit finish. The Marsala of choice for fish, poultry and meat preparation. An elegant after-dinner wine.
While you may never have had a glass of Marsala wine, there's a good chance you've enjoyed a dish of chicken Marsala. This creamy classic of pan-fried chicken and mushrooms bathed in a rich savory-sweet Marsala sauce has long been an Italian favorite in restaurants around the world.
But while Marsala wine is a go-to cooking wine, it's much more than just a splash in the pan. In this guide, we'll share details about this enduringly popular Italian wine, including how and where it's made, the different varieties it comes in, and the best ways to enjoy it.
Despite its popularity as a dry and semi-dry cooking wine, a high-quality Marsala can also be an excellent sweet wine. It's increasingly common to see it served as an aperitif to whet the appetite or as a delicious digestif to sip after a meal.
The Italian government's Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) regulates the use of the term "Marsala" to wine (and products) that are produced in the Marsala region. That said, it's worth noting that some wines going by the Marsala moniker (especially the cheaper versions available at local grocery stores) are not real Marsala wines. Read the wine label to ensure the bottle you buy has the proper designation and actually comes from Sicily.
As with all winemaking, the fermenting begins once the grapes are harvested and crushed. Depending on whether the winemaker wants a sweet or dry Marsala wine, the fermentation process will be disrupted for fortifying (i.e., adding the brandy).
If the wine is fortified before fermentation is complete, there will be more residual sugar, thus producing a sweeter wine. If the winemaker adds the spirits after fermentation has finished, the result will be a drier wine with lower sugar content.
Due to the fortifying process, Marsala wine lasts 4-6 months after opening. Although it won't go bad if you keep it in the cupboard longer than six months after opening, it will start to lose its flavor and fragrance. It's best to store Marsala in a cool, dry place much like you would olive oil.
Knowing how to enjoy wine might seem like a no-brainer, but there are some nuances that maximize your experience. To that end, here are a few tips on how to savor Marsala wine, including the ideal temperature for serving, best food pairings, and even the kind of glass you may want to use.
When serving Marsala, follow general wine temperature suggestions. Dry Marsala is best slightly chilled around 55-60 degrees to maintain its crisp freshness. However, sweet Marsala is better when poured at room temperature or slightly cooler.
Secco and semi-secco Marsala wines pair perfectly with fruits and pastries as well as richly flavored foods such as blue cheese, Parmesan, olives, and nuts. Dolce Marsala makes for a decadent dessert wine that goes wonderfully with just about any chocolate dessert, including tiramisu, truffles, or cake.
It might sound silly, but the type of glass you drink wine with makes a difference. Studies have shown the shape of a glass affects how wine vapor rises, thus influencing the taste and fragrance you experience.
For drier Marsala wines, standard white wine or sparkling wine glasses will do. Just make sure that whatever you serve it in, you allow yourself enough glass space to swirl. Doing so will allow the wine to breathe and release its fragrance before you take your first sip.
When it comes to cooking wine, it doesn't get more iconic than Marsala wine. But it's clear this venerable vino from the Italian island of Sicily is much more than a companion to your chicken Marsala recipe. As it turns out, this delicious and versatile wine comes in dry and sweet versions that can be enjoyed before a meal, after dinner, or with (and as) dessert. 781b155fdc