Top 4 Madeira Wine Types & Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

When it comes to Madeira wine substitutes, there are plenty of alternatives for this rich, fortified Portuguese wine.

What is Madeira Wine?

Madeira wine is a fortified wine originating from the Portuguese Madeira Islands, which lie just off the coast of Morocco. The alcohol can be made from either red or white grapes and is heated and oxidized in such a way that always gives it an amber color. The sweeter types of Madeira can last for a very long time unopened – sometimes even hundreds of years. Due to the fortification process, it has an alcoholic content of 20% and contains approximately 140-170 calories per serving.

Types

There are many types of Madeira wine, including Sercial, Verdelho, Boal or Bual, and Malmsey.

  • Sercial: Sercial is considered one of the freshest types of Madeira and can be served with fish or as an apéritif.
  • Verdelho: Verdelho is a dry wine with a smoky flavor and is easily paired with a broad range of foods.
  • Boal: Boal, or Bual (pronounced “Buwall”), is complex and sweet with a strong aroma. The taste has been likened to roasted cacao, coffee, and raisins.
  • Malmsey: Malmsey is the sweetest and richest of the Madeira wines and, like Bual, has an impressively long lifespan. It can be served with dessert or even consumed independently as a dessert in itself.

Madeira Wine Substitute

Although a common ingredient in recipes, it’s not always possible to find Madeira wine outside of Europe. Luckily there is a range of Madeira wine substitutes, such as Port, Marsala, dry vermouth, and stock.

  • Port: If the recipe calls for a sweet Madeira, a tawny port makes an excellent replacement.
  • Marsala: Try reducing this Italian wine down to achieve a similar depth of flavor to the Madeira.
  • Dry vermouth and sherry: These are good substitutes for Madeira in savory recipes.
  • Stock: This can also be a good non-alcoholic alternative.
DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 1 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Social distancing with masks on a bench

COVID-19 Airborne Transmission Possible, Herd Immunity Unachievable: Studies

New studies around the novel coronavirus have brought to light the need for updating the guidelines about how we keep ourselves safe from it and better manage…

READ MORE
A bowl of lime and lemons on a grey background

Harvard Study Shows How The Brain Organizes Smell

How does the brain perceive and organize smell? A recent Harvard study shed some light on this little-known area. Published in the journal Nature, the animal…

READ MORE
Two dogs in a green field

Dogs Improve Social & Emotional Health Of Small Children

Young children often seem to have a special bond with their pet dogs. This bond may also be of great benefit to their overall development. A new Australian…

READ MORE