Wine Word of the Week: Fortified

By Kori ~ March 20th, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is fortified.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Fortified wines are those which have been subject to fortification and therefore include sherry, port, Madeira, vermouth, Malaga, mantilla, Marsala, liqueur Muscat, Liqueur Tokay, and several strictly local specialties. Fortification is the practice of adding spirits, usually grape spirit, to wine to ensure microbiological stability, thereby adding alcoholic strength and precluding any further fermentation.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Fortified wines have had alcohol added to stop fermentation and increase its alcoholic strength (some to as high as 20 percent). The most common fortified wines are port and sherry.

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