Curatolo Arini Marsala

What is worth knowing about Marsala wine?

via Dawid Lipiec

Marsala wine is a very prized wine produced in Sicily. It is made from three main grape varieties. Marsala wine has become a popular drink all over the world and is readily used in cuisine. 

Marsala wine - what is worth knowing? 

It is worth saying at the outset that Marsala Wine is an Italian wine produced in Sicily, more specifically in the area around the town of Marsala, located on the west coast of the island. It is a fortified wine, i.e. enriched with spirit. As a result, it has a higher alcohol content than traditional wines. It turns out that Marsala wine is made from three basic grape varieties: the white Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia, and the red Pignatello. What's more, the beverage is produced in different variants. Much depends on the level of sweetness and colour. Mostly, however, there are three basic categories of Marsala: Oro (gold), Ambra (amber) and Rubino (ruby). 

Marsala wine gained popularity mainly thanks to the English merchant John Woodhouse, who, during his trip to Sicily in the 18th century, discovered this wine and introduced it to the British market. Since then, the beverage has become popular across the globe and is enjoyed in the kitchen, not only as an accompaniment to meat dishes, but also in desserts. 

How is Marsala wine made? 

It turns out that Marsala wine is made from three basic grape varieties, and the production process can take from a few months to a few years, depending on the type of wine and its category. The first process of making this wine is the harvesting of the grapes. This fruit is harvested from crops growing around the city of Marsala in Sicily. The grape varieties used to make Marsala wine are mainly the white varieties Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia and the red Pignatello. The next stage is the pressing of the juice. The grapes are pressed and the juice obtained is clarified and passed through a filtration process. Fermentation should also be mentioned. The juice is fermented and an addition of wine from earlier production called 'madre' is added to the fermenting juice to start the fermentation process. The next stage is fortification. Once fermentation is complete, ethanol spirit is added. The aim is wine fortification to an alcohol level of around 18-20 per cent. 

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The next step in making Marsala wine is to age it in oak barrels for a minimum of one year. Importantly, some varieties are aged for a much longer period. During this process, the wine is blended from time to time to ensure a uniform aroma and flavour. The next process is blending. Wines from different barrels are blended together to achieve the right balance of flavour and aroma. Then comes the time to bottle and secure the wine to protect it from light. Marsala wine is currently produced in different varieties. All of its varieties are characterised by notes of caramel, nuts and dried fruit and a higher alcohol content than traditional wines. 

What dishes is Marsala wine added to? 

Marsala wine is a popular accompaniment to many different dishes, not only salty but also sweet. The beverage is often added to desserts. We are talking, for example, about tiramisu or cakes. It is also worth adding to zabaglione and other baked goods. Marsala wine is also an ingredient in many ice cream creams and sauces. Moreover, it is used to marinate meat and fish before preparation. In addition, it is an ingredient in many sauces and braised meat dishes such as pork, chicken and veal. Marsala wine is also often added to vegetables. It goes well with asparagus, aubergine or mushrooms. 

It turns out that Marsala wine is a great addition to sauces and soups. Pasta with it added is delicious. What's more, Marsala wine is commonly added to sauces for meat and to olive oil-based sauces. The wine is also a popular accompaniment to blue cheese such as gorgonzola or ricotta. It is also worth mentioning that Marsala wine adds a sweet taste and aroma to dishes, and gives dishes a deeper, more complex flavour and aroma. 

Marsala wine - where to buy it? What is its price? 

It turns out that Marsala wine can be obtained in many liquor shops and online. Its price can vary depending on the producer, type of wine and bottle capacity. However, it is worth knowing that, in general, its prices start from PLN 30 to 45 for a 0.75-litre bottle. Significantly, some high-end Marsala wines can cost as much as a couple of hundred zlotys per bottle. One category of this liquor should be noted, as there are three types: Oro, Ambra and Rubino, which differ in colour and flavour. The former version has a golden colour, sweet taste and aroma. Ambra, on the other hand, is a wine with a darker colour and more intense flavour. Rubino is red in colour, with a distinct taste of nuts and sultanas. It's important to know that each of these types of wine can be used with different dishes, so it's worth choosing the right type for your dish. Marsala wine can also be bought in some supermarkets. 

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