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Underestimated Potential – Marsala

Learn more about Marsala on page 127 of the Master Guide

How to Drink Marsala

Marsala is a fortified wine (that means they add high strength alcohol to it) originating in Sicily. Most people think of it as a cooking wine, however, Marsala is so much more than that! Ranging from bone dry to sweet, it comes in a range of colors, styles, and quality levels.

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Wine Quiz

Question: Which of the following best describes Marsala?

  1. A dry white wine from Burgundy with peach and vanilla flavors.
  2. A fortified wine from Sicily that can be dry or sweet with caramel and dried fruit aromas.
  3. A fortified wine from Portugal that is only used for cooking and has red cherry flavors.
  4. A sweet red wine from Sicily that has low levels of alcohol and tobacco flavors.

Scroll down for the answer!

To learn more about Grillo check out the
Italian Wine 201 Course

The Unsung Hero of Sicily

Grillo is one of the main grapes used to make Marsala, and is one of the most planted varieties in Sicily. It is also used to make dry, crisp white wines with aromas of citrus, green apples, and herbs. If you’re looking for an alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, check out Grillo.

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Planeta Vineyards Sicily
Planeta’s Vineyards in Sicily

Italy’s Flavor Capital

Now that you know a bit about Marsala, it’s time to explore the rest of Sicily. Not only is it the Mediterranean’s largest island, it’s also the largest grape growing area in all of Italy. And though often overlooked, it produces some of Italy’s finest wines.

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Wine Quiz Answer

Answer – #2: A fortified wine from Sicily that can be dry or sweet with caramel and dried fruit aromas.

Marsala comes in a wide range of styles from dry (secco) to sweet (dolce) and a range of qualities. There’s everything from wines that are great for cooking and those that are strictly best for sipping and appreciating. Look for Vergine to find some of the finest examples.

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