Posts Tagged Sicilian wine


Marsala Wine: Blame The Brits


The first thing you learn on visiting the Sicilian city of Marsala – where the fortified wine hails from – is the phrase Before The British.

There’s a clear diving line between what is legally defined today as Marsala and an older style of wine locally called “vino perpetuo”. Perpetuo is, as the name suggests, is a wine that appears to go on forever. It is kept in a barrel and topped up with new wine each year, when a quantity is removed. This is similar to the solera fractional blending system used for Sherry.

The sweet, fortified wine that most of us know was “invented” in the late 18th century. English merchant John Woodhouse, so the story goes, took shelter from a storm in Marsala, liked the perpetuo wine and wanted to take some home. To preserve the wine for the journey, he fortified it and tah dah! A rival to the highly-fashionable Madeira was created. (more…)

Share & Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • RSS

A Kind Of Magic


What makes a wine great?

Technically, it’s about attributes such as balance, complexity and ability to age.

But this ignores the part that emotion so often plays. Where you were and what you were doing at the time you pressed the glass to your lips.

That last night of a fabulous holiday, a birthday lunch with your closest friends or, in my case, a little moment of magic in a vineyard by the glimmering Sicilian sea.

It wasn’t the most promising start, bumping along a dirt road to Nino Barraco’s Vignammare vineyard not long after a large, Marsala-fuelled lunch. With each twist and lurch, the sun in the western Sicilian sky slunk a little lower and the sea came no closer. (more…)

Share & Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • RSS