Q. What does “fortified wine” mean?
A. A fortified wine means that a distilled spirit has been added to the wine, usually brandy (a neutral grape spirit), during fermentation. This results in a wine whose natural sweetness is preserved and gives a full, rich texture to the drink. Some examples include Port, sherry, madeira, Marsala, and vermouth.
The other answers are wrong because…
It’s not extra tough…it’s extra sweet! The residual sugar in a bottle of Port is around 100 g/L, while a bottle of dry wine has around 0.2 to 2 g/L.
It’s neither fortified with vitamins and minerals nor good to pour over your breakfast cereal, so we wouldn’t claim it’s part of a “balanced diet.” However, as they say, everything in moderation…
And, the only possible obstacles in your way to drinking a delicious fortified wine (besides the fences) are a) how do I drink it? or b) “I don’t like sweet wine.” To answer the first, fortified wines all benefit from a bit of a chill and are great after dinner alongside, or in place of, dessert or a cheese plate. Vermouth, of course, has its own thing going on with cocktails. And for the second obstacle, well, all we can advise is: just try ’em! Fortified wines have centuries-long histories and traditions, complex flavors, and legions of fans who can’t be wrong. This is not your basic wine that was sweetened with sugar to cover up what is otherwise a horrible wine, but truly delicious bottles you’d be missing out on if you categorized them as simply “sweet.”
While we don’t currently have fortified wines available in our Wine365 Shop, the below pack includes another sweet wine that we highly recommend you try before judging it: a classic Lambrusco, crisp, bubbly, and well-balanced. Plus, all those other great wines are included too!
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