Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cantine Florio Marsala

Normally I post about new ingredients BEFORE I use them. This time around, it's after. There was just too much going on and I didn't squeeze these photos in.

I have no idea what makes for a good Marsala. And I'll be honest, I have no idea what prompted me to select this one. The description isn't horrible though, but sales and marketing people are paid for that.

The only thing I can tell you with certainty is that the cork is one of those stubby ones. Is there a cork shortage or have wine/liquor makers learned that you don't need two inches of cork to plug the bottle sufficiently?

My lack of knowledge means I need to look this up in the Larousse:
A Sicilian fortified wine, made around the town of the same name. It is produced in a type of solera system (see sherry) and the finer examples are matured for some while - the type described as vergine must be at least five years old. Marsala tens to be full in character and brownish, and - which will surprise many - it can be dry as well as sweet. There are also Marsalas that are flavoured with almonds, coffee, chocolate, tangerines, and other fruits. Marsala all'uovo is a rich sweet drink consisting of Marsala enriched with egg yolks. Marsala is used in various recipes, notably veal piccata and zabaglione.
Of course, I had to follow up and look at sherry. Here's the excerpt about solera systems specifically:
The rather complex procedure whereby it is fortified with brandy and matured takes place in bodegas and is known as the solera system. This varies from firm to firm, but essentially consists of a series of casks graded by age. When a consignment of sherry is required, wines are drawn off from the casks according to age and character and then blended. The arrangement and proportions in which the wines are drawn off and the casks refreshed from other wines is both complex and individual to the particular sherry house concerned. The name solera is given to both the process and the casks.
Cantine Florio Dry Marsala, $11.99 a 750 mL bottle when on sale at BevMo!.