Marsala, a spiced sweet wine with a brillant past is mostly considered to be ideal for cooking and thus shares its the fate with Madeira. As discoverer of marsala isisconsidered the Sicilian-born British wine merchant John Woodhouse. He shipped the sherry-like Marsala, which at that time was exclusively vinifyed in the Solera, from Sicily to England at the end of the eighteenth century, where it enjoyed great popularity for about a century. The decline in sales at the beginning of the 20th century, due to increasing competition and the phylloxera catastrophe, one tried to stop with new variants. These partially flavored with almonds, coffee or even yolk specimens, however, contributed only more to the decline. Only a revision of the DOC regulations in 1984 put an end to the aromatizing of Marsala, but did not increase the sales.

A good, several years matured, amber-colored Marsala Vergine with its notes of Rancio is ideal to open a menu as an aperitif, the sweeter variants are excellent dessert companions.

The offered Marsala cover a wide range of qualities. The simplest wine is called Marsala Fine, must have at least 17.5% Vol. Alcohol and be aged one year in barrels. All other qualities have a minimum alcohol content of 18% Vol. but different minimum times of maturation. That are for the Marsala Superiore at least two years and for the Marsala Superiore Riserva four years. Marsala Vergine, also known as Marsala Soleras, ripens for at least five years and Riserva, also known as Stravecchio, matures at least 10 years. The vinification for all these wines is oxidative.

All qualities exist in three different colors: Oro (gold), Ambra (amber) and Rubino (ruby red). Oro and Ambra are produced from any mixture of the approved white grape varieties Grillo, Catarratto, Inzolia and Damaschino. Rubino is produced from a mixture of the red varieties Perricone, Nero d’Avola and Nerello mascalese, to which a maximum of 30% of the white varieties mentioned may be added. The Marsala types Fine, Superiore and Superiore Reserva of the exist in three different sweet version grades: Secco (dry, residual sugar (RS) up to 40 grams per liter), Abboccato (semi-dry, RS from 40 to 100 grams per liter) and Dolce (sweet, RS above 100 grams per liter). Marsala Vergine (Soleras), as well as its Riserva (Stravecchio), both are only available with a residual sugar content of less than 4 grams per liter.

The fortification or/and sweeteningdepending on the quality level, can be done with alcohol made of grapes, must (also partially fermented), concentrated must, alcohol-fortified most (Sifone) or cooked must (Mosto Cotto). Mosto Cotto may only be added to the Ambra versions of Fine, Superiore and Superiore Riserva. To the Oro and Rubino versions of the three qualties mentioned above all alternatives may be added, but never Mosto cotto, whereas it is allowed to add only alcohol from grapes to the Vergines (Soleras) and the Riservas (Stravecchio).

Serving temperature 10 ° – 13 ° C