For the lifelong connoisseur or someone looking to indulge their sweet tooth, fortified wine may offer a treat. Fortified wines are often call dessert wines, due to their higher sugar content, while also offering a higher alcohol content.
Two of the most popular types of fortified wines originate from the Iberian Peninsula. Sherry, which originated in Spain, is considered a dry wine to which brandy is added after fermentation.
Port, originally from Portugal, is also a sweet wine. However, unlike sherry, the brandy is added mid-way through the fermenting process. By adding brandy during the fermenting process, will prevent sugar from becoming alcohol.
Other common fortified wines are Marsala and Madeira. Marsala is a Sicilian fortified wine, which as with sherry includes brandy added after the fermenting process. Madeira is similar to sherry and Marsala, but can involve steps similar to those of port-making. Madeira gets its name from the Madeira Islands.
The sweet wines are ideal for matching with after dinner dessert!