What is Marsala Wine

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Like many European wines, Marsala is named after the town where it originated, which is found in Sicily, Italy. This versatile wine may surprise you with its many uses and health benefits.

What is Marsala Wine?

Marsala is a fortified wine, meaning that additional alcohol is added after fermentation. The process originated to preserve wine on long ocean journeys, but this potent product still remains popular today. The relative sweetness and the varietals of grapes used are what distinguish different styles of Marsala.

This powerful potable can be found in three colors, including the following:

  • Gold (dry)
  • Amber (semi-sweet)
  • Ruby (sweet)

It is most popular as a cooking wine, and you can find a good quality bottle for around $10 that can easily last for a month on the counter. More and more chefs are advocating for people to enjoy Marsala on its own, so don’t turn away from a fine bottle if you see it.

Marsala Nutrition

Sweet wine tends to contain more sugar than dry wine. Due to its high alcohol content and powerful flavor, serving sizes should be small. A one-quarter cup contains 30-40 calories, so drink responsibly, particularly if you are trying to watch your weight or caloric intake.

Uses for Marsala Wine

The many uses of Marsala wine include the following:

  • The dry version is most commonly used in chicken Marsala
  • You can use the sauce made from this wine in mushrooms, carrots, and pork
  • Use the sweet variety of Marsala for dessert
  • You can make a sauce for fruits or other sweet

However, don’t forget to save a few ounces, slightly chilled, to be consumed as a digestif

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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.

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