My much beloved wife (Mrs Astudentofwine) is from a family originally from Calabria, right next to Sicilia. Sicilia is home to the city of Marsala, from whence hails the mighty adult beverage Marsala. Lighter then Porto, and richer then Sherry (IMHO).
The origins of Marsala go back centuries. To be honest, I don't think anyone even knows when it was started. But by an odd co-incidence, these geniuses developed a system of fortification incredibly similiar to the Solera system used for Sherry production. Rich flavors, increased alcohol, and now an ability to travel long distances - when an Englishman named Woodhouse came to Marsala, he was sure he had found a new drink for the English market. He was right.
Pellegrino Marsala Superiore (meaning aged 2 years or longer) "Garibaldi Dolce"
**excellent value** BUY THIS NOW @$18
- orangish-amber coloring, very rich
- fully intense nose of dried raisins, hot alcohol, orange peels, vanilla
- moderate+ acids, moderate+ tannins, fully intense flavors exactly matching the nose
This is a brilliantly rich wine that completely over-delivers. I know that standard way of serving it - room temperature with desert & dried fruit, but try it served chilled between courses with some gorgonzola & poached pear!