But there was a question of timing. It is not every moment that lends itself to tasting through 20 or so high alcohol fortified wines. What if you have to do work later that day? Or talk on the telephone? Or walk to the next room without falling? One does have to think about the consequences. I mean, it is probably no coincidence that the man credited with discovering Madeira was known as O Zarco The Cross-Eyed.
I put off the Madeira-a-thon for awhile.
But when I found myself in the possesion of a plump panettone recently, I knew the right time had come. Madeira says winter holidays. Panettone says winter holidays. I figured it was destined to be.
|Someone from Milan would probably be shocked and dismayed that I ripped this panettone apart with my hands, instead of cutting it into neat wedges with a knife. That's okay, I'm more of an Manchester United fan anyway.|
I decided to go at the "city" Madeiras first off. That series is a group of Madeiras that Mannie partnered with the folks at Barbeito to produce. Each is named after an American city, such as Boston, New York, or Charleston.
Both the Boston Bual and the New York Malmsey were nice with the panettone, but the New Orleans Special Reserve was my preferred pairing. Made from the rarely seen Terrantez, the N'Orlins had a dense, chocolatey richness about it that was just about panettone perfect. The Charleston Sercial was nice to try, but much too dry for my baked repast. I imagine the Savannah Verdelho would have been too dry as well, but I'll never know, because I would have needed a vice-like grip to get the top off that bottle. Next time, Savannah, next time.
That is my friend Bubble Monkey in the background of the last photo, btw. Bubbles came over to help me taste through the Madeira goodness.
|Bubbles is the author of From Bual to Bananas: One Monkey's View of the Good Life|
|The D'Oliveira bottlings I tried were from the grapes associated with sweeter styles of Madeira, Malvasia and Bual.|
The style of Barbeito offered a real contrast to the firmly tailored wines of D'Oliveira.
|The lineup from Barbeito also focused on the sweeter styles.|
|As you can infer from the amount left in the bottle, this Barbeito Malvasia was a particular favorite.|
I also want to thank Bubbles the Monkey for being there!