by Andrew Chalk
A fortified wine that is still undiscovered by many deserves a moment in these upcoming fall months! With its rich, comforting aromas, it is perfect for cooler days.
Originating from the town of the same name on the western coast of Sicily, high-quality Marsala DOCs are versatile, unique and include a range from dry to semi-dry to sweet that can take you from aperitivo and beyond. Made with Sicily’s native varieties (most notably Grillo), Marsalas undergo extended aging in oak barrels, with the final wine displaying notes of nuts and dried fruits, lush and velvety on the palate.
Cantine Florio, founded in 1833 and now part of the Duca di Salaparuta Group, is one of the oldest producers of authentic Marsala in Sicily, with roots that run deep in the region’s history and culture. Vincenzo Florio, founder, contributed a great deal to quality Marsala winemaking, as well as to the town itself and Sicilian culture. Vincenzo’s grandson, also named Vincenzo, even created the famous Targa Florio car race in 1906. Florio’s prominence continued into the early 1900s, and the winery was famous for its Art Deco posters.
Fast forward to almost 190 years later, Florio has recently launched three Marsalas in the super-premium line that are sophisticated and elegant, true expressions of Sicilian terroir.
Terre Arse Marsala DOC Riserva Vergine Secco - SRP: $19.99
Matured for at least 10 years in oak barrels, this dry Marsala has a very fine bouquet of bitter almonds and toasted honey, finished with notes of vanilla. The Terre Arse is an excellent pairing with salty, umami-rich foods like roasted almonds, Parmigiano-Reggiano, smoked fish and crostini with anchovies.
Targa Marsala DOC Superiore Riserva Semisecco - SRP: $19.99
Soft and velvety, with notes of caramel, dates, apricots and dried fruit, the semi-dry Targa makes an unexpected pairing for avocado and blue-veined cheeses, and is amazing with fried chicken.
Oltre Cento Marsala DOC Superiore Dolce - SRP: $19.99
This sweet Marsala displays hints of vanilla and licorice on the nose, with dried fruit and raisins on the palate and a warm, round finish. The Oltre Cento is great after dinner with aged cheeses, nuts and dried fruit, or a range of desserts.