What Does Fortified Wine Mean? (Question)

(17—20 % ) (12—17 % ).

  • fortified wine. noun. : a wine (such as sherry) to which alcohol usually in the form of grape brandy has been added during or after fermentation.


What is the difference between wine and fortified wine?

Fortified wines are wines that have alcohol added to them. Unlike standard wine, which contains only the alcohol that results from fermentation, these wines, which include Port, sherry, Madeira, and Marsala, have extra alcohol added in the form of flavorless grape brandy.

What are examples of fortified wine?

Fortified wine is wine that contains a distilled spirit, such as brandy. Here are the most common types of fortified wine:

  • Port wine. This type originates in Portugal but is now produced worldwide.
  • Sherry.
  • Madeira.
  • Marsala.
  • Vermouth.

Why wine is fortified?

Fortified wines are classified together because of their elevated alcohol content. They have wine spirits added at some stage during production. The most common types of fortified wines are Port, Sherry, Madeira, Moscatel, and Marsala.

What is considered a fortified wine?

As Carrell indicates, by definition a fortified wine is a wine which has a distilled spirit added to it, to increase its alcohol content — fortifying it. There’s a huge spectrum of fortified wines, and vermouth and sherry actually both qualify as separate types within this beverage category.

What is the best fortified wine?

12 top value fortified wines

  • Blandy’s, Verdelho Colheita Madeira 1998.
  • Niepoort, Crusted Port.
  • Curatolo Arini, Superiore Storica Marsala 1988.
  • Bodegas Hidalgo, La Gitana Manzanilla En Rama Sherry.
  • Gonzalez Byass, Tío Pepe Fino En Rama Sherry.
  • Graham’s, Six Grapes Reserve Port.

Can you drink fortified wine?

We’re pretty sure you’ll like fortified wines, even if only for their versatility: served chilled, at room temperature, straight up or in a cocktail. It’s all socially acceptable, and as far as we’re concerned, highly recommended.

Is fortified wine sweet?

Fortified wines are made when grape brandy is added to a wine and can either be dry or sweet. Most fortified wines are higher in alcohol content (about 17-20% ABV) and have a longer shelf life after they are opened.

Should fortified wine be chilled?

Similar to regular grape wines, our fruit wines will last about three to four days once opened. Keep them refrigerated to increase that time. Fortified wines, due to their higher alcohol content, will last several weeks after opening if kept in your fridge.

Is Marsala a fortified wine?

Marsala wine is a fortified wine produced near the town of Marsala on the island of Sicily, Italy. Marsala wine is made with local white grape varietals including Grillo, Inzolia, Catarratto, and Damaschino (although it can also be blended with red grapes.)

Does fortified wine go off?

How long does Fortified Wine last once opened? Fortified wines can last 28 days in a cool dark place, sealed with a cork. Fortified wines like Port and Muscat have very long shelf lives because of the addition of brandy. Just so you know, the sweeter the dessert wine, the longer it will last open.

How much fortified wine is a standard drink?

60ml sherry, port or fortified wine (20%) 30ml shot/nip of spirits (vodka, rum, tequila) (40%).

Which wine is not fortified?

Unfortified wine refers to all wines produced through the standard winemaking (either traditional or industrialized) achieved from nothing but fermented grape juice. This means your preferred red wine, white wine, rosé wine or sparkling wine is unfortified.

How do you know if wine is fortified?

Whether a fortified wine ends up sweet or dry all comes down to timing. If a winemaker adds spirits to the wine before fermenting is complete, the result is a sweet fortified wine. Conversely, if the winemaker adds spirits after the fermentation process is finished, the outcome is a dry fortified wine.

Is sake a fortified wine?

Incorrectly referred to as a fortified rice wine because of its taste and texture, sake is actually made of fermented rice, not unlike beer but think of sake as being in a league all its own. It’s important to note, however, that unlike beer, sake typically has a 16% alcohol content.

Is Martini a fortified wine?

In the past known as bianchissimo (the whitest), Martini Bianco is a variety of sweetened dry vermouth —fortified and aromatized wine—that was first introduced in 1910.

An Exhaustive Guide to Fortified Wines

If you make a purchase after clicking on an Eater link, Vox Media may receive a commission. See our code of ethics for more information. There has been an increase in interest in vermouth and sherry, both of which come under the category of fortified wines, in recent years, but there still appears to be some misconception about what each of these drinks actually is. What is the difference between vermouth and sherry? What exactly is a fortified wine, and where can I find one? One possible explanation for this lack of knowledge is a residual link with low-quality items, such as bargain basement, overly sweet cream sherries, which came to symbolize the whole category in the eyes of many consumers after they were discontinued.

“As a result, you have to inform people about these amazing items that are available to them.”

What is a fortified wine?

According to Carrell, “I believe that the ordinary consumer does not comprehend what fortified wine is, or that fortified wine is essentially a subcategory of wine.” Sherry, vermouth, and port are all examples of fortified wines, but most people aren’t aware of what it means to have distilled spirits mixed with wine base, says the author. In the words of Carrell, a fortified wine is a wine that has been fortified by adding a distilled spirit to it in order to enhance the amount of alcohol in it.

While the concept is straightforward, the problem is that each style of fortified wine is distinguished by a set of particular restrictions that distinguishes it from the others.

because the nature of their manufacture necessitates the use of time, which results in a great deal of complexity.” ABV (alcohol by volume) limits, age minimums and styles, kind of base wine, type of spirit that may be added and how it can be added, quantity of sugar on a scale ranging from dry to sweet, and so on are all commonly included in fortified wine rules.

For example, the Madeira wine comes from the Madeira Islands in Portugal.

Courtesy of the Royal Family

Types of fortified wine

Sherry is a fortified wine produced in the Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera. More information is provided below. In the country of Portugal, notably in the Duoro Valley, port wine is produced. To make port, grapes must be cultivated and processed in the region, and the wine must be fortified with unaged brandy before fermentation is completed, yielding a beverage with an alcohol content of around 20 percent. Port is most generally associated with being rich and sweet, although it is available in a variety of types, including tawny port, ruby port, white port, and rose port, among others.

  • The wine can be dry or sweet, and it is particularly noteworthy for the aging process known as estufagem, which takes place throughout the fermentation process.
  • Currently, Madeira is produced by a process that includes heating and aging, in addition to oxidization and moderate pasteurization.
  • Moscatel de Setbal: The Portuguese are known for their fortified wines, and this is another that is exclusive to a particular region.
  • A single business, José Maria da Fonseca, dominates the production of this wine, which is predominantly made from the muscat of Alexandria vine.
  • Marsala is derived from the city of Marsala, which is located on the Italian island of Sicily.
  • The alcohol concentration ranges from 15 to 20 percent ABV, and the styles span from dry aperitivos to sweet dessert wines, among other variations.
  • Xynisteri and mavro, which are both indigenous to the island, are the sole grape varieties used in its production.
  • The maximum alcohol concentration is 20 percent ABV, and the wine’s flavor is extremely rich, sweet, and fruity in nature.

The term mistelle refers to grape juice mixed with a spirit; however, if the grape juice has been at least partially fermented (formed into wine), the addition of a spirit transforms it into a fortified wine in its own right.

What is aromatized wine?

However, while the information provided here is a basic introduction to fortified wine varieties, it is important to realize that there is a vast array of sub-classifications and categories to investigate. To give an example, vermouth itself is classified as an aromatized wine, which is described as a fortified wine that has additionally been flavored with herbs, spices, or natural flavorings in addition to being flavored with alcohol. Vermouth is traditionally divided into two categories: dry and sweet, however there is a wide range of flavors in between.

  1. Quinquina: Quinquinas are flavored with cinchona bark and its bitter quinine component, which gives them their distinctive flavor.
  2. Lillet Blanc is a quinquina that is well-known.
  3. It is important to note that the term “Americano” relates to amer, as in the French word meaning bitter, rather than American.
  4. a port cobbler from Dante’s Restaurant in New York Eater courtesy of Nick Solares

The impact of cocktails

Most significantly, vermouth and sherry have seen an increase in popularity recently, more so than any other fortified wine. This revival may be attributed to cocktail culture and each wine’s long-standing association with mixed cocktails. In many traditional cocktails, vermouth is a vital ingredient, whereas sherry is a significant element in some of the oldest drinks. Vermouth is used to flavor a variety of alcoholic beverages, including martinis, Manhattans, and negronis, to name a few. Consumers are increasingly ordering a specific spirit paired with a certain vermouth, rather than ordering one of the classics as a stand-alone.

  • Then there are those who select a certain vermouth only for the purpose of using it in a single cocktail.
  • Americans were the ones who originated the cocktail, and you had this drink, sherry, that was brought over with Christopher Columbus when he discovered America.
  • “It is unquestionably an excellent method to meet new people,” adds Tseng.
  • Finally, sherry is just wine, and it’s actually rather adaptable when it comes to pairings with food, not only with cocktails but also with other types of cuisine.” When it came to Tseng’s introduction to sherry, it was through the medium of mixed cocktails.
  • Following that, Tseng began to experiment with amontillado sherry, and eventually discovered her true sherry passion: fino sherry.
  • According to her, “it’s difficult to find a wine that would really match well with a lot of those characteristics, such as soy sauce and pickled and fermented foods, or really just funkier, earthier, very rich, umami sorts of flavors,” she adds.

“Fino and amontillado sherries, in particular, are quite versatile and may be used in a variety of situations. It’s rather remarkable how each component of the sherry will serve to accentuate a different taste of the cuisine.”

Considering vermouth

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates was known to keep many different varieties of vermouth on hand, which he would prescribe for different diseases, according to Carrell. “Vermouth has been around for a very, very long time and was utilized by Hippocrates,” adds Carrell. In fact, “almost all of the ancient people who were creating wine were adulterating and aromatizing their wine in some way,” says the author. “Even the Sumerians were doing it.” While vermouth is experiencing a renaissance right now, it has always been a mainstay of civilizations all over the world, and it will continue to remain so.

  1. “Vermouth has long been a component of the winemaking process.
  2. In general, vermouth is most prevalent in current drinking cultures in nations such as Italy and Spain, where it is especially popular.
  3. Most people believe that vermouth is divided into two parts, and this is correct at the most basic level.
  4. The average alcohol by volume (ABV) is between 16 and 18 percent, however this is not stated in the regulations.
  5. “I believe vermouth is quite amazing since it has a lot of stylistic options,” adds Carrell of the beverage.
  6. As Carrell explains, “vermouth may be produced to fit into any point of the dry to sweet range.” “The amount of sugar in the recipe does not appear to be an artistic choice.
  7. Meanwhile, vermouth is increasingly being produced in nations other than the traditional vermouth-producing countries of France and Italy.
  8. According to Dillion, “one of the big trends you’re going to start seeing in the coming few years is an increasing number of individuals putting their own vermouths out as well,” he says.
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I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, and I believe there are three distinct local vermouths on hand behind the bar at this establishment.” Even while Tseng considers sherry to be her “source of love and pride,” she also enjoys vermouth, and she believes that emerging Spanish vermouths in particular are an area to keep an eye on in the future.

More traditional vermouths, which were previously inaccessible in the United States, are now being imported, and, as previously indicated, new makers are joining the market as a result of this.

Considering sherry

Sherry has its own subgroup of almost a half-dozen various styles, all of which are unique to it. The best place to begin is with the location of the organization’s physical headquarters. In order to call a product “sherry,” it has to originate from a certain location in southern Spain — specifically, from these three primary towns — as well as other municipalities and zones where the grapes themselves have to be produced, according to Tseng. Specifically, she refers to a region in Andalusia known as the “sherry triangle,” which includes the city of Jerez de la Frontera, usually known as just Jerez, as well as the towns of Sanlcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Mara.

  • Solera aging is the process of progressively transferring portions of the initial sherry into consecutive barrels, resulting in an average age in each cask that is older than the last, yet never completely emptying the barrels.
  • Fino, Manzanilla, amontillado, oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, moscatel, and blended cream sherries are some of the most well-known types of sherry, however there are many more sub-categories to be found within each of these categories.
  • “The bare minimum for finos and Manzanillas is two years on average, with the majority being three to five years,” explains Tseng.
  • Most of the younger ones that aren’t deemed to be too old are at least seven years old.” If you’re looking for information on alcohol level, details vary per sherry variety, with a general range of 15 to 22 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).
  • However, sherry has a humorous side, as Tseng points out.
  • If you mention sherry to wine enthusiasts, they will respond with a resounding ‘oh it’s too alcoholic.'” Afterwards, you have a foot in the cocktail world, and people are impressed that you are not consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • It can be classified as having a high alcohol content or as having a low alcohol content, and it has a variety of characteristics.

How to get into fortified wine

Are you unsure about where to begin? Try some of the recommendations above, such as matching sherry with food or creating drinks that use sherry and vermouth. For cocktail connoisseurs who are already familiar with vermouth classics such as the negroni, Manhattan, or martini, begin experimenting with different vermouths in each to see which is the best personal match for them.

Continue to stretch out and discover new things after that. According to Carrell, “Simply put, give them a shot. Never be frightened of it, and don’t limit yourself to thinking of it as only an ingredient; they may be rather wonderful on their own.” Kat Odell is the editor of this publication.

Fortified wine – Wikipedia

A glass of port wine, which is a fortified wine Wine that has been fortified with a distilled alcohol, generally brandy, is referred to as fortified wine. Over the course of several centuries, winemakers have created a variety of fortified wine varieties, including port, sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Commandaria wine, and the aromatic wine vermouth (also known as vermouth).


Given that ethanol is also an antibacterial, one rationale for fortifying wine was to keep it fresher for longer periods of time. Fortification continues to be employed despite the fact that other means of preservation are now available. This is because the procedure can impart various tastes to the completed product. The addition of alcohol to fortified wines is most usually created from grape brandy, but it may also be manufactured from neutral spirit, which can be generated from grapes, grains, sugar, or any other source of alcohol.

  1. In certain cases, regional appellation regulations may define which types of spirit are authorized for fortification and which are not.
  2. The source of the added alcohol as well as the type of distillation used to create it can have an impact on the flavor of the fortified wine.
  3. Addition of the distilled beverage before the fermentation process is complete causes theyeastand to be killed, leaving just residual sugar remaining.
  4. In the course of the fermentation process, yeast cells in themust continue to convert sugar into alcohol until the must achieves an alcohol content of 16–18 percent via volatilization.
  5. It is generally agreed that the wine produced by allowing fermentation to run to conclusion will be low in sugar and hence classified as a dry wine.
  6. Alcohol is added soon before or after the completion of the fermentation process in the case of drier fortified wine types such as sherry or rum.
  7. As a result, fermentation is halted before the wine has a chance to become dry.


Commandariais produced in Cyprus’ distinctive AOC area north of Limassol from high altitude grapes ofMavro and Xynisteri, which are sun dried and matured in oak barrels before being released.

Different designs of Commandaria have been developed in recent years, with some of them being fortified while others are not.

Madeira wine

Madeira is a fortified wine that is produced in the Madeira Islands of Portugal. Various varieties of wine are made, ranging from dry wines that may be drank on their own as an aperitif to sweet wines that are more commonly consumed with dessert. As part of the aging process, Madeira is intentionally heated and oxidized, producing in unique flavors and an extraordinarily lengthy shelf life once the bottle has been opened.

Marsala wine

There are fortified and unfortified types of Marsala wine, which comes from the Italian region of Sicily, available. Marsala was created in 1772 by an English businessman named John Woodhouse as a low-cost alternative for sherry and port, and it was given this name since the island’s port is named after the town of Marsala. After being combined with brandy to create two distinct types, the younger, somewhat weakerFine is distilled at least 17 percent abvand matured for at least four months, and the Superiore is distilled at least 18 percent abvand aged for at least two years, respectively.


Italian: mistela; French: mistelle; Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, and Catalan: mistela; all derived from the Latin mixtella / mixtvm”mix”) is a bitter liquor used primarily as a base for aperitifs such as the FrenchPineau des Charentes. Mistelle is also used in fortified wines, particularly vermouth, marsala, and sherry. It is made by adding alcohol to grape juice that has not been fermented or has been partially fermented (orapplejuice to makepommeau). Because the addition of alcohol pauses the fermentation process, Mistelle is sweeter than fully fermented grape juice, in which the sugars are converted to alcohol, as a result.

Moscatel de Setúbal

It is aPortuguesewine made in the area surrounding theSetbal Municipality, which is on the Peninsula de Setbal, on the island of Madeira. In most cases, the wine is created predominantly from theMuscat of Alexandriagrape and is fortified with aguardente. Jose Maria da Fonseca, the creator of the oldest table wine firm in Portugal, which dates back to 1834, is often credited with inventing the style, according to legend.

Port wine

Fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern regions of Portugal is known as port wine (or simply port). In addition to sweet red wines, there are also dry, semi-dry, and white kinds to choose from.


It is a fortified wine created from white grapes cultivated around the town of Jerez in Spain, and it is known as sherry. The very term “sherry” is an anglicization of the Spanish word “Jerez.” Originally, sherry was referred to as sack wine (from the Spanishsaca, meaning “a removal from thesolera “). Because “sherry” is a protected designation of origin in the European Union, all wine labeled as “sherry” must legally come from the Sherry Triangle, which is a region in the province of Cadiz that includes the towns of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Mara, as well as the town of Jerez de la Frontera.

Because fortification takes place after fermentation, most sherries are originally dry, with any sweetness being added later on after the fermentation process.

Sherry is made in a number of styles, ranging from dry, light versions such asfinosto to darker, sometimes sweeter forms known asolorosos.

Sherry is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from dry, light versions such asfinosto to darker, sometimes sweeter versions known asolorosos. Cream sherry is always sweet, no matter how it is made.


Vermouth is a fortified wine that has been flavored with aromatic herbs and spices (referred to as “aromatized” in the trade) using techniques that have been jealously guarded for centuries (trade secrets). Cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram, and chamomile are just a few of the herbs and spices that may be employed. Some vermouths are sweetened; nevertheless, vermouth that is unsweetened or dry tends to be bitter in flavor. The person who is credited with the creation of the second vermouth recipe, Antonio Benedetto Carpano of Turin, Italy, chose the name “vermouth” for his concoction in 1786 because he was inspired by a Germanwine that was flavored with wormwood, a herb that is most famously associated with the distillation of absinthe.

wormwood and vermouth are both synonymous with the contemporary German wordWermut(Wermutin the spelling of Carpano’s period).

Vins doux naturels

Rasteau produces a VdN that is based on Grenache. Traditionally produced in the south of France from whiteMuscatgrapes or redGrenache grapes, vin doux naturel is a gently fortified wine with a low alcohol content. Developed by Arnaud de Villeneuve at the University of Montpellier in the 13th century, the manufacture of vins doux naturels is now widely available in the Languedoc-Roussillon area of southern France, where they are particularly popular. Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, andMuscat de Frontignanare all white Muscat wines, whilst Banyuls and Maury are red Muscat wines derived from the redGrenache vine, as indicated by their names.

In any case, the addition of up to 10% of 190proof(95 percent)grape spirit will stop the fermentation process regardless of the grape variety being used.

Low-end fortified wines

During the Great Depression, inexpensive fortified wines with high alcohol concentration, such as Thunderbird and Wild Irish Rose, gained popular due to their low cost and high alcohol level. Wine-o was developed during this time period to denote impoverished alcoholics who lived in poverty at the time. It is primarily because marketers have been aggressive in targeting low-income communities as ideal consumers of these beverages that these wines have continued to be associated with the homeless.

The Seattle City Council petitioned the Washington State Liquor Control Board in 2005 to limit the sale of some alcoholic beverages in underprivileged “Alcohol Impact Areas.” The board granted the request.

On August 30, 2006, the Liquor Control Board approved the new limitations, which became effective immediately.


Gwaha-juis is a fortified rice wine that is produced in Korea. Despite the fact that rice wine is not made from grapes, it has a similar alcohol content to grape wine, and the addition of the distilled spirit, soju, and other ingredients such as ginseng, jujubes, ginger, and other spices to the rice wine creates a taste that is similar to the fortified wines mentioned above.


In the United States, fortified wines are commonly referred to as dessert wines to minimize the associated with hard drinking. The French refer to liqueur wines by the name ” vins de liqueur ” According to European Union regulations, a liqueur wine is a fortified wine that contains 15–22 percent alcohol by volume (abv), has a Total Alcoholic Strength of no less than 17.5 percent, and fulfills a number of other requirements. There are certain exceptions, such as for high-quality liqueur wines.

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See also

  1. Alexis Lichine and Lichine Alexis Lichine Alexis Lichine Alexis Lichine Alexis Lichine (1987). The New Encyclopedia of Wines and Spirits by Alexis Lichine (5th ed.). p. 236. ISBN 0-394-56262-3
  2. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
  3. P. 236. ISBN 0-394-56262-3
  4. P. 236. Fred DuBose and Evan Spingarn are the authors of this article (2004). The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Guide 2005 is a comprehensive guide to the world of wine. Publisher: Barnes & Noble, page number 202, ISBN 9780760758328. 6th of June, 2020 – retrieved It is unclear when stronger wines or spirits first began to be added to wine in order to preserve it, but the practice was successful, and fortified wine was created. The origins of the fortified wines Port and Madeira are documented in historical records
  5. Jancis Robinson is the editor of abc (2006). The Oxford Companion to Wine is a reference book written by the Oxford University Press (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, p.279.ISBN0-19-860990-6
  6. P.279, ISBN0-19-860990-6
  7. “Different Types of Fortified Wines That You Might Enjoy Before or After Dinner,” according to the article. The Spruce is a restaurant. Retrieved2018-12-23
  8. s^ Biancalana, Antonello, “DiWineTaste Report: Tasting Fortified Wines.” DiWineTaste Report: Tasting Fortified Wines, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineTaste Report, DiWineT DiWineTaste.com, retrieved on December 23, 2018
  9. AbcNed Halley is a fictional character created by author Ned Halley (2005). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Drink: An A–Z of Alcoholic Beverages is a comprehensive reference work on the subject of alcoholic beverages. Page 384 of Wordsworth Editions’s book with the ISBN 978-1-84022-302-6. retrieved on April 4, 2009
  10. John R. Hailman (2006). Thomas Jefferson on the subject of wine. The University of Mississippi Press, p.306.ISBN 978-1-57806-841-8 Archived from the original on 2009-04-04.Marsala wine
  11. ‘Mistela’ Jancis Robinson’s second edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine, published by Oxford University Press in 1999, includes a section on mistelle
  12. “mistelle Definition in the Wine Dictionary at Epicurious.com.” Epicurious.com. Retrieved from “Archived 2014-11-10 at the Wayback Machine” on November 10, 2014. The original version of this article was published on June 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 2009-04-05
  13. Biancalana, Antonello. “Production of Fortified Wines.” DiWineTaste. Retrieved2009-04-05
  14. s^ Darwin Porter and Danforth Price are the authors of this work (2000). Frommer’s Portugal is a travel guidebook written by Frommer’s (16th ed.). IDG Books Worldwide (ISBN 0-02-863601-5)
  15. “Spanish law.” ISBN 0-02-863601-5. The original version of this article was published on September 10, 2013. Clarke, Paul (2009-04-04)
  16. Retrieved 2009-04-04
  17. (2008-08-15). “The Truth About Vermouth: The hidden ingredient in today’s most popular cocktails is still widely misunderstood,” says the author. San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA)
  18. Ray Foley is a journalist and author who lives in New York City (2006). In this book, you will learn how to bartend for dummies. p. 112.ISBN978-0-470-10752-2. Retrieved 2009-04-05
  19. John J. Baxevanis, p. 112.ISBN978-0-470-10752-2 (1987). Champagne, Burgundy, and the wines of Eastern and Southern France are among the best in the world. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-8476-7534-0. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Company. Retrieved2009-04-05
  20. s^”thewinedoctor.com”. The original version of this article was published on February 17, 2009. Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide. p. 238.ISBN1-4027-2585-X
  21. Jorgensen, Janice. New York: Sterling. p. 238.ISBN1-4027-2585-X
  22. (1993). Consumable Products are covered in the Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands. 492 pages, ISBN 1-55862-336-1, Detroit, Michigan: St. James Press
  23. Hector Castro is a Cuban-American businessman and philanthropist (December 7, 2005). “The city may soon broaden its alcohol effect zones.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times Seattle’s Alcohol Impact Areas (AIAs): The Extended Central Core AIA, according to the City of Seattle’s website. Tae-jong, you’re right. “Gwaha-ju”. Korean Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Language and Culture (in Korean). The Academy of Korean Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Korean culture. retrieved on March 12th, 2018
  24. Park, Rock Darm, and the like (12 April 2012). “Gwaha-ju,” says the narrator (in Korean). retrieved on March 12th, 2018
  25. Charles L. Sullivan is an American businessman and author (1998). It is titled A Companion to California Wine: An Encyclopedia of California Wine and Winemaking, and it is published by Wiley-Blackwell. University of California Press, p. 120, ISBN 978-0-520-92087-3, retrieved 2009-04-05
  26. Robert Joseph, p. 120, ISBN 978-0-520-92087-3, retrieved 2009-04-05
  27. (2006). Wine Travel Guide to the World, Footprint Handbooks, p. 36, ISBN 978-1-904777-85-4, retrieved 2009-04-05
  28. Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008, Annex IV, 3
  29. Council Regulation (European Union document). See, for example, p. 46.

External links

  • The Fortification Calculator
  • Dessert Wines (fortified wine manufacturing)
  • Commandaria wine and its development
  • Fortified Wines (fortification calculator)

Wine 101: What Is a Fortified Wine?

Fortified wine, commonly known as dessert wine, contains a greater percentage of alcohol than other types of wine. Contrary to common assumption, the greater alcohol concentration of these wines does not originate from the distillation process; rather, it is the consequence of the addition of spirits. What is the history of the addition of spirits to wine, and what are the characteristics of the various kinds of fortified wine? Now, let us take a deeper look at the history and different forms of fortified wine:

The History of Fortified Wines

Winemakers had a major dilemma prior to the invention of refrigeration, wine bottles, and the ability to air mail products. Because wine casks were not as airtight as wine bottles, the wine would oxidize and turn into acetic acid when transported by water for lengthy periods of time (vinegar). Because winemakers feared losing product, they began adding spirits to their wines, which resulted in increased alcohol content, reduced spoilage, and significantly happy customers. Not everyone was in favor of fortification of wine, as you may imagine.

He further believed that neglecting to completely ferment the wine, resulting in the accumulation of additional sugar, was just a ruse to conceal low quality wine.

As for his statements regarding the quality of fortified wine, it appears that history has proven him incorrect, as port and other fortified wines are still extensively consumed hundreds of years after he first made them.

The Difference Between SweetDry

Sweet fortified wines and dry fortified wines are both prepared using the same principles: wine is fermented, and then distilled spirits are added to the wine to make them sweet. Winemakers, on the other hand, have discovered that by adding spirits at different stages of the fermentation process, they can determine how sweet or dry their fortified wine is.

When winemakers add spirits to a wine before it has finished fermenting, they create a sweet fortified wine, which is sweeter than regular wine. The spirits must be added after the fermentation process has completed in order to produce a dryer fortified wine.

Why does this work?

When yeast breaks down the sugar molecules in grapes, it produces ethanol, which is used to make wine (alcohol). All of these strains of yeast die at the conclusion of the fermentation process, which occurs when the yeast runs out of sugar or when the ethanol concentration is too high, respectively (typically above 15 percent). The yeast breaks down practically all of the sugars in the wine when the winemakers wait for fermentation to be completed, resulting in a vintage that is too dry. Alcohol level in wine is prematurely raised to 15 percent when spirits are added too soon, killing the yeast and leaving intact sugar in the wine.

Types of Fortified Wine

There are many various varieties of fortified wines available, each with its own specific quality that distinguishes it as a separate drink in its own right.


Among the most well-known fortified wines are port and sherry, which are both produced in large quantities. Both of these wines are fortified with brandy and, like most wines, are called after the regions in where they were produced.

  • Hails from the Portuguese region of Portugal’s Douro Valley
  • Sherry is a kind of Spanish wine that originates in the city of Jerez de la Frontera.

There are, however, some significant variations between the two varieties of wine that should be noted. Dry fortified wine, sherry is made after the fermentation process is complete, and the brandy is added at that point. Port, on the other hand, is a sweet wine that is produced by adding brandy to the fermentation process midway through the process. This method of fortifying the wine will prevent the sugar from converting to alcohol in the wine. Port wines are typically red in color, however there are white and dry/semi-dry variants available as well as other varieties.

These would range from dry and light to dark and sweet in flavor.


Madeira and Marsala are examples of fortified wines that are available. Marsala wine, which has its origins in Sicily, is fortified with brandy after fermentation, a procedure that is similar to that employed in the production of sherry. When making Marsala, some winemakers prefer a sweeter taste, therefore they add a sweetening ingredient instead of putting in the brandy earlier. Madeira wine is comparable to sherry in flavor and appearance, but winemakers may make it sweeter by fortifying it in a manner similar to that of Port.

Fortified Wine: The Perfect Pairing for Desserts

Madeira and Marsala are two more varieties of fortified wines to try. Marsala wine is a Sicilian specialty that is fortified with brandy after fermentation, a technique that is similar to that used to make sherry. Marsala wine is made from grapes grown in Sicily and is fortified with brandy after fermentation. The sweetening ingredient is added later in the process by winemakers who like their Marsala to be sweeter.

Madeira wine is comparable to sherry in flavor and appearance, but winemakers may make it sweeter by fortifying it in a manner similar to that of port. Madeira is where this style had its beginnings.

What Is Fortified Wine? Types, Benefits, and Downsides

Fortified wine is wine that contains a distilled alcohol, such as brandy, in addition to the grape juice. Fortified wine, in addition to having a greater alcohol concentration, has a distinct flavor and fragrance that distinguishes it from other varietals. Nonetheless, there are certain parallels between the two varieties, particularly when it comes to their health advantages and potential drawbacks. This page discusses the many varieties of fortified wines, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

  • In order for wine to be produced, it must first go through a process known as fermentation, in which yeast turns the sugar from the grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide ( 2 ).
  • Fortified wine that has been added to before the fermentation process is complete will have a sweeter flavor than one that has been added after the fermentation process has been completed.
  • Both sweet and dry types are frequently offered as aperitifs or digestifs before or after meals to aid in the stimulation of appetite as well as the digestion of the meal.
  • SummaryFortified wine is made by infusing distilled spirits into wine during or after the fermentation process.
  • There are several different varieties of fortified wines available, each with its own distinct flavor and production process.
  • Port wine is a kind of wine produced in Portugal. Although this variety has its origins in Portugal, it is presently made all over the world. Sherry is a sweet wine made by adding brandy to the wine before it has finished fermenting, giving it a sweeter flavor. Sherry is available in a variety of flavors depending on the sort of grapes used to make it. Despite the fact that it is typically dry, Madeira is occasionally sweetened and served as a dessert wine. This variety of tobacco, which originated in the Portuguese Madeira Islands, is roasted and oxidized by exposing it to air. Marsala is made by adding brandy at various points throughout the fermenting process, resulting in a variety of tastes. It is a typical culinary wine that has been fortified after fermentation, giving it a characteristic dry flavor that distinguishes it from other wines. Also known as vermouth, it is occasionally sweetened, giving it a wonderful complement to dessert dishes
  • Vermouth. Vermouth, which is available in both dry and sweet varieties, is a fortified white wine that is frequently flavored with herbs and spices such as cloves and cinnamon. It is also used in the preparation of cocktails such as martinis, Manhattans, and Negronis.

SynopsisMany different varieties of fortified wines are available, each with a distinct flavor and production process that distinguishes it from the others. Fortified wine, like ordinary wine, may have a number of health advantages to offer.

Rich in antioxidants

SummaryThere are many different varieties of fortified wines available, each with a distinct flavor and production process. If you want to learn more, read on. Fortified wine, like ordinary wine, may provide a number of health advantages to the drinker.

Supports heart health

According to some study, moderate wine consumption may be beneficial to heart health ( 10 , 11 ). Research shows that light to moderate drinking is related with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It is also associated with a 30 percent lower chance of dying from heart disease ( 12 ). Another study revealed that consuming red wine boosted HDL (good) cholesterol levels by as much as 16 percent in 69 participants over the course of four weeks ( 13 ). HDL cholesterol aids in the removal of fatty plaque buildup from your arteries, which may lower your risk of heart disease ( 14 ).

Take note that heavy drinking can be harmful to your heart and contribute to alcoholic cardiomyopathy, which is a disease that weakens your heart’s capacity to pump blood properly and can lead to death ( 15 ).

May protect against chronic disease

According to certain research, fortified wine may be beneficial in the prevention of a variety of chronic diseases. For example, one big study found that moderate wine consumption over a lengthy period of time was connected with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among women who were overweight ( 16 ). According to other study, drinking wine may be beneficial to your mental and brain health by lessening your chances of developing depression and dementia ( 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 ). Moderate wine consumption has also been linked to a lower risk of developing numerous forms of cancer, including colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers, according to research ( 21 , 22 , 23 ).

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Drinking fortified wine in moderation may be connected with enhanced heart health as well as a decreased chance of developing a number of chronic illnesses.

High in calories

The calories in fortified wine are often greater in comparison to ordinary wine. Dessert wines such as sherry, for example, can have roughly double the calories of red wine, ounce for ounce ( 24 , 25 ). Despite the fact that fortified wine is normally consumed in smaller portions than ordinary wine, exceeding the recommended serving size can cause calories to accumulate fast, increasing your risk of weight gain. As a result, it’s necessary to limit your intake to one to two servings per day and to control your consumption.

Contains more alcohol

The alcohol percentage of fortified wine is significantly higher than that of conventional kinds. Fortified wines, which are made with the addition of distilled spirits such as brandy, can contain 17–20 percent alcohol, as opposed to the 10–15 percent alcohol found in conventional wines. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed on a regular basis, it can lead to alcohol dependency, which can result in withdrawal symptoms when the substance is stopped ( 26 ). Furthermore, excessive alcohol use has been linked to liver disease, weight gain, brain damage, and heart failure in the past ( 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 ).

According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate consumption is defined as one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two alcoholic beverages per day for men ( 31 ).

High in sugar

Due to the fact that wine is manufactured from grapes, it naturally contains more sugar than many other forms of alcoholic beverages. Fortified wine has even more sugar than regular wine because many kinds are prepared by adding spirits to the wine during the fermentation process, before the sugars have had a chance to be converted to alcohol. Other types are sweetened after fermentation, increasing the amount of sugar in the final product. Port wines, which are sweet dessert wines, contain around 7 grams of sugar every 3-ounce (88-ml) cup ( 24 ).

  1. This is why the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to less than 10% of your daily calories, which amounts to roughly 50 grams on an average daily caloric intake of 2,000 calories or fewer ( 31 ).
  2. Overall, fortified wine is high in calories, and it also includes sugar and alcohol, both of which have been associated to negative health consequences when drunk in large quantities.
  3. Port wine, sherry, and vermouth are some of the most popular variations.
  4. Although a modest intake of fortified wine may be beneficial to your health, excessive consumption may be detrimental to your well-being.

Consequently, it is recommended to restrict your intake and enjoy fortified wine as an occasional treat as part of a well-rounded, healthful diet rather than a regular element of it.

Definition of FORTIFIED WINE

Madeira is another fortified wine that comes from the Portuguese island of the same name. Recent Examples on the Web —Washington Post, published on December 9, 2021 This particular bottling comes from Glendullan and is comprised of whiskies that were racked into two ex-Madeirafortified winebarriques for a period of 14 years before being distilled. —Felipe Schrieberg, Forbes, September 14th, 2021 The fortified wine category was dominated by port, which received eight of the nineteen Gold medals.

  1. 2021, according to Forbes’ Nicole Trilivas.
  2. 2021, according to Esther Mobley of the San Francisco Chronicle, on February 5, 2021 In order to preserve the fruit, the goal is to make Angelica, a sweet, fortified wine that was popular during the early years of California’s Franciscan Missions.
  3. • Mackenzie Fegan, Bon Appétit (September 4, 2020).
  4. —Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2020 Following are some example sentences that were automatically generated from different internet news sources to reflect current use of the phrase ‘fortified wine.
  5. Please provide comments.

Fortified Wine: What It Is, How It’s Made, and 5 Types to Try

The likelihood is that you’ve drunk fortified wine while mingling at a friend’s dinner party or while dining out at your favorite restaurant on any given night is high. Many fortified wines are offered as an aperitif before a meal, despite the fact that they are most frequently served as a dessert wine or digestif after a meal. The majority of people associate fortified wines with sweet red wines, yet these exceptional sippers come in a variety of sweetness levels, colors, flavors, and origins.

Fortification is the process of adding a grape spirit to wine either during or after the fermentation process has completed.

In the case of wine, this involves boosting the alcohol concentration, stopping fermentation in some cases, and prolonging the shelf life of the wine.

Fortified wine is a fascinating topic, and this book will explain all you need to know about it, including how and why it’s manufactured, in order to satisfy your curiosity and help you acquire an even deeper appreciation for wine.

You’ll also learn about the most popular sorts of wine and the best ways to match them so that you may improve your own wine knowledge.

What Is Fortified Wine?

The likelihood is that you’ve had fortified wine while mingling at a friend’s dinner party or when dining out at your preferred restaurant. Many fortified wines are offered as an aperitif before a meal, despite the fact that they are most commonly served as a dessert wine or digestif after a meal. Many people associate fortified wines with sweet red wines, although the sweetness, color, flavor, and provenance of these particular sippers vary widely. As a matter of fact, the only thing they have in common is a fortification system, which is a surprise to many.

Strengthen, reinforce, and defend are all words that come to mind when you hear the term “fortify.” Specifically, in the case of wine, this involves boosting the alcohol concentration, stopping fermentation in some cases, and prolonging the shelf life of the product.

This book will teach you all you need to know about fortified wine, including how it’s created and why it’s manufactured, to satisfy your curiosity and help you acquire an even deeper appreciation for wine.

How Fortified Wine Is Made

It all boils down to when a fortified wine is made, and whether it is sweet or dry. Adding spirits to wine before it has finished fermenting results in a sweet fortified wine, according to the winemaking community. If, on the other hand, the winemaker adds spirits after the fermentation process has done, the result is a dry fortified wine with a high alcohol content. Why? Because fermentation causes the sugar in grapes (and grape juice) to be broken down, it results in the production of alcohol.

If you use less sugar in your wine, you will get a drier wine.

5 Types of Fortified Wine

The difference between a sweet and a dry fortified wine is entirely in the time of the fermentation. Adding spirits to wine before it has finished fermenting results in a sweet fortified wine, according to the winemaking industry. If, on the other hand, the winemaker adds spirits after the fermentation process has done, the result is a dry fortified wine, which is a type of dessert wine. Why? Fermentation occurs because the sugar in grapes (and grape juice) is broken down and alcohol is produced.

The wine will be drier if the sugar content is lower.


There are several different styles of sherry, all of which are produced in Spain, most notably in the Douro Valley. While Fino and Manzanilla are the lightest and driest varieties available, Amontillado and Oloroso have a deeper amber hue with a dry to medium-dry finish, while dessert sherries such as Pedro Ximénez are dark, rich, and dangerously sweet (and expensive). It is not uncommon to drink sherry in a tiny wine glass after a meal or as a dessert on its own, despite the fact that it is traditionally served as an aperitif.

Dishes that are generally served with white wines like as olives, almonds, fried foods, and shellfish combine well with the Fino and Manzanilla.

Amontillado and Oloroso, on the other hand, are excellent accompaniments to chicken and pork dishes, sautéed mushrooms, and hearty vegetables. Sweet sherries, like as Pedro Ximénez, pair well with ice cream, bread pudding, and other desserts, as well as on their own.


When compared to sherry, which can vary in color and sweetness, port is traditionally a red, sweet, fortified wine; nevertheless, there are lesser-known dry white and dried rosé variants as well as sweet white. Port wine, which originates in Portugal, receives its sweetness from brandy, which is added just before the fermentation process is completed. Tawny port is a slightly sweet, rich, aged, garnet-hued red wine. Ruby port is a younger version of the classic port wine, with a beautiful ruby color and a fruity flavor that lives up to its name.

Port wine is traditionally served as a digestif or dessert wine, and it mixes well with a variety of foods.

Pair the rosé or white ports with a sweet treat such as strawberry angel food cake, stone fruit, or lemon meringue pie to complete the experience.


Madeira, which takes its name from the Portuguese islands of Madeira, is a fortified wine that undergoes a special heating and maturing process known as estufagem before being released. Winemakers develop a particular taste profile by periodically heating the wine in barrels or tanks (known as estufas, which translates as “greenhouse” in Portuguese) to a temperature that is somewhere between woodsy, nutty, and burned caramel-like. Young, dry, and light Madeira can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or paired with nuts, cheese, and mushrooms for a delectable aperitif.


Marsala, whether it is sweet or dry, must have originated in Sicily in order to be termed such. This flexible fortified wine is perfect for sipping as an aperitif or as a pleasant conclusion to a dinner, despite its reputation as a cooking wine that is used to make rich, nutty, and somewhat sweet sauces (hello, chicken Marsala!). In addition to the red and white wine variations that are available in other fortified wines on this list, Marsala is available in both red and white wine variants. Pair lighter types with lighter appetizers like as chicken or olives for a lighter meal.

Also ideal for pouring into a skillet of chicken and mushrooms, as you can see in the video below.


Vermouth, in contrast to the other fortified wines on this list, has been aromatized, which means it has been flavored with herbs and botanicals. The initial claim to fame of vermouth, unlike the other fortified wines on this list, was that it included wormwood, which is the infamously hallucinogenic element present in absinthe (and other fortified wines). (In reality, the term “vermut” comes from the German word for wormwood, which is how the drink got its name.) Due to the fact that red vermouth is often sweet and fruity, it is a wonderful pairing for light protein meals such as chicken stir-fry or salmon salad.

White vermouth is dry and slightly bitter, so consider mixing it with seafood such as oysters or clams. Of course, you could always indulge in a traditional Manhattan cocktail made with sweet red vermouth just for the sake of tradition.

Sweet or Dry, Stay Fortified

Whether you prefer sweet wine or dry wine, there is a fortified wine to suit your preferences. While fortified wines originate from all over the world, the one thing they all have in common is that they were fortified, which implies that a spirit was added to the wine during the fortification process. To put it another way, every time you drink, you’re receiving a discount on two things. (And who doesn’t like a good laugh?) Traditional fortification of wine has survived to the present day, with different areas developing their own variations on the theme.

It’s simply another incentive to savor the diverse range of wines available.

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