The fortification of wine was first introduced to ensure the wine survived the rigours of being transported by ship. Made by blending different grape varieties and vintages, fortified wines are ‘still’ wines which have been ‘fortified’ with a distilled spirit, usually brandy. During fermentation about half way through fermentation Brandy or a similar spirit is added to the wine to fortify it. Fortified wine is higher in alcohol generally around 17%-18% than normal standard wines. Some of the most common fortified wines are Port, Marsala, Madeira, Sherry, Moscatel de Setúbal and Vermouth. Fortified wine is a type of wine which is viscous and delicious and is often enjoyed before or after dinner.
This addition of distilled spirit also enhances its natural flavour. Even though, over time, a lot of different methods of preservation of wine have been developed, fortification is still used because it retains the distinct flavour of the wine. Fortified wines are of two varieties – Dry and Sweet. If the spirit is added to a wine after the fermentation process, it is considered a dry fortified wine. On the other hand, if the spirit is added to a wine before fermentation, it produces a sweet fortified wine. The dryness or sweetness of the wine depends on the time the spirit is added to the wine. Even though the common notion is that alcohol is injurious to your health, fortified wines have certain health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants: The high number of antioxidants present are powerful compounds that help protect our cells from damage, and also from other chronic diseases.
Keeps the heart strong: Some research suggests that moderate wine intake may benefit heart health.
Reduces depression: Many studies have indicated that wine can help in improving mental and brain health by reducing the risks of depression and stress.
When it comes to enjoying your glass of wine, the food serves as one of the most intimate parts of the whole experience. Food pairing refers to the intricate relationship between the wine you are drinking and the food you are eating. A lot of different types of nuts, cheese, fruit tarts, and cream- or chocolate-based desserts can be enjoyed with fortified wine. In fact, fortified wine is known to be a dessert wine, as well as an aperitif wine. So, what are you waiting for? Look for it when your next in the Hunter Valley and find out what exactly tickles your taste buds the most when taken with your wine.
Hunter Valley Wine, Australia
Being one of the most famous wine regions in all of Australia, the Hunter Valley Wine region has played a very important part in the history of Australian Wine. It was the first region dedicated to wine, with vines planted early part of the 19th century. Semillon is considered to be the most iconic wine from this region.
The climate of this place plays a pivotal role in making this valley heaven for wine lovers across the globe. Just like the rest of Australia, Hunter Valley is considered to have a Mediterranean climate. This region gets its maritime climate from the Pacific Ocean. The mountains in the north and west of Hunter Valley pull the cool breezes of the ocean into the area, which makes it an ideal place for the production of premium-quality grapes. Without these cool winds, producing grapes of such high quality would not be possible.
Hunter Valley plays a very important role in the local economy as it is the reason for the recent boom in the travel and tourism industry in this region. People from all across the world come to the Hunter Valley to be a part of wine-tasting events or enjoy the natural beauty of the valley while having a glass of premium wine.
However, if you are a wine lover, but are unable to take out time from your busy schedule to come down to Hunter Valley and taste the best fortified wines, you can place an order with Pokolbin Estate and rest assured your wine will reach you in no time. With a large variety of wines, Pokolbin Estate offers its customers only the best. Be it red, white, rose, or fortified wine you can find exactly what your taste buds desire.
Pokolbin Estate offers the following fortified wines:
2006 Vintage Port: A classic port wine.
2009 Vintage Port: A classic port wine. Slightly dryer than the 2006 Vintage.
2016 Neil’s Autumn Harvest Riesling: The Autumn Harvest Riesling does not follow the use of the traditional botrytis, but is rather left to burn on its own to self-sweeten. Its limited sweetness and thin consistency give it a distinct taste.
George’s Tawny: A 39-year-old fortified wine, George’s Tawny wine has a smooth tawny colour. It has an alcohol content of 18.5% and is famous for its amazing rich taste, with complex caramel, brandy, and raisin characteristics.
Liqueur Muscat: The Reserve Liqueur Muscat is known for its rich taste. Muscat is a fortified wine made in Australia from the Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge (known locally as Brown Muscat). The wine is sweet, dark, highly alcoholic Australian wine that has some similarities to Madeira and Malaga. The combination of flavours and aromas leaves the taster in a state of complete ecstasy.
Riesling Solera: Best enjoyed with apple tart, crepes, and vanilla ice cream, the Riesling Solera is a mid/dry wine. The addition of brandy to the combination of various Riesling vintages makes this a wine described as ‘delightfully fortified’.
Starboard Shiraz: Adding a slight addition of brandy to rich ripe Shiraz grapes, the Starboard Shiraz is enjoyed best with cheese, or a rich chocolate-based dessert.
Although fortified wines are produced in many different places, the fortified wines produced in the Hunter Valley region of Australia are incomparable.