One of the greatest things about visiting friends is that they often have wines that you normally won't buy. So when I was recently offered a glass of fortified red wine, how could I say no?
Unfortunately my wine knowledge up to this point does not include fortified wine. And even more unfortunate was the fact that my host had little experience with fortified wines also. We spent sometime speculating about what it could be. Before we plunged into the unknown wine, we decided to run a quick Google search to find out what we were getting into.
A wine that is fortified has a distilled alcohol added to it, usually brandy. The alcohol is added before the end of the fermentation process which kills the yeast and leaves the sugar. And voila you are left with a sweet dessert wine.
Upon this discovery, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I am not that crazy about dessert wine and the the atmosphere wasn't really really calling for a dessert wine, but in the name of the blog I tried it.
It was a beautiful deep maroon and I loved the tears of wine a.k.a the wine legs a.k.a the church curtains a.k.a the the way the wine coats the glass. All wines will do this but a dessert wine does it best.
In the end, the fortified wine had a really nice rich fruity taste but after about an ounce I was happy to switch to some homemade Gewurztraminer. It may not have the legs, but the lower sugar content won't leave in me tears the next morning.
Tears of Wine