May 21, 2012 0

Madeira wine with food, plus Australian sweet wines

By in Tasting, The Butler Wine-Show, Wine reading

At the Big Fortified tasting we saw Madeira guru Trevor Elliot run a seminar on matching the fortified wine with food.

Sounds bananas doesn’t it. But it can really work.

First on economic grounds: if you’re someone who comes home and necks a bottle a night, my hats off to you. But you might want to rein that in. A fortified wine is a smart way to do that: it can last for weeks in the fridge and one small glass, instead of half a bottle, will give you the alcohol punch you need after a stressful day at the office.

Madeira is clever because it has a four-step range from dry to sweet. Start on labels stating Verdelho or Bual – these are the mid ranges, and will compliment savoury to sweet (or cheese).

Give it a go and let us know how you get on.

At The Big Fortified Tasting this year there were some seminars – one of which was presented by Chris Pfeiffer of Rutherglen.

They’ve been making wines for 20-odd years in Australia and run the full gambit of honeyed dessert wines to sticky, Pedro Ximenez-style wines.

Although its a more risky way to make sweet wine, where the fruit is more liable to infection, Rutherglen let the grapes mature on the vine, rather than sun-drying. This means the acid in the fruit matures alongside the sugar. As a result, these are sweet, but not cloying.

They’re a terrific range of wines and affordable – the Topaque was a particular hit with Cameraman.

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