I’m not all that experienced with Madeira but have had it with cheese enough to know that it can make for some exciting pairings with cheese, as Tara Q. Thomas writes for Culture (photo by Thorsten Roth). Excerpt:
In the annals of weird wines, Madeira is way up there. Produced on a tiny island some 320 miles off the coast of North Africa, the wine gets its characteristic caramel hue and flavors from a long, slow heating process, followed by a lengthy sleep in oak barrels. It’s a recipe for disaster for most wines, but for some reason, it turns the juice from Madeira’s tough, acidic grapes into liquid bliss that lasts for decades, or even centuries.
I was re-reminded of this one rainy, cool autumn afternoon when I slipped into a seat at The River Café in Brooklyn. (It had been a hard week, okay?) There, Madeira has its own list, with bottles dating into the 1800s. I asked Joe DeLissio, the wine guy who assembled the collection, what attracts him to the wines. “Here’s a wine that breaks all the rules,” he said.