September 7, 2005

Wine Blogging Wednesday 13 – With Chocolate.

By Andrew Barrow In Articles, Wine Notes
Chocolate and Zucchini is hosting this months WBW; the theme being wine with chocolate. Clotilde kindly supplied a recipe for making the cake. I duly followed the instructions deviating only slightly by adding a little splash of my wine choice into the mix. The resultant cake is very chocolaty and perhaps a little too sweet for my wine.

My choice? A Marsala. I was looking for something a little different; port was too obvious, an excellent Australian fortified muscat I have detailed before and while there were several likely candidates sampled at a recent tasting I can’t recall ever sampling a Marsala. Then I noted that I could use some in a recipe for Guinea Fowl and the decision was sealed!

Produced on the western end of Sicily, Marsala is a fortified wine; brandy is added during the production process, much in the same way as sherry is made. Rather than using a solera system, Marsala is aged in simple casks. The time spent aging dictates the quality; 1 year and the wine is Marsala Fine, 2 years minimum and it is Marsala Superiore and so on up to 10 years aging with the grand Marsala Vergine Stravecchjio o Riserva.

The level of sweetness can vary too – there are dry (Secco) versions and Semisecco (off-dry) and Dolce (Sweet). My bottle is labeled sweet but was not as sweet or as sticky as I was expecting.

Pellegrino Marsala

Wine Tasting Note: Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Sicily, Italy.
Widely available for £6.99.
A wonderful amber-mahogany colour with a powerful aroma. The palate is sweet(ish) with a complexity of nuts, dried fruits and wood. Cleaning acidity. Long length enlivened by the alcohol; which is 18%. Made from Catarrato, Grillo and Inzolia grapes.

Scribblings Rating – 88/100

It is a shame that this old and illustrious style of wine is declining. Despite an illustrious past Marsala seems relegated to culinary uses – well in the UK at least. There appears to be just the one brand and this one wine readily available on the high street. More details on Marsala at Delia Online. With the chocolate cake it was fine, a little more sweetness would have helped, as would a larger slug in the cake!

Chocolate Cake
  1. Jassmond September 11, 2005

    I didn’t follow the links, so don’t know if there is a reference to him, but have you tried the Marco di Bartoli Marsali? I have only had two of them, but they were both amazing wines, on par with some of the better sherries I’ve had.
    Thanks for the great post.

  2. spittoon December 25, 2005

    TN: Carlyle Wines Classic Rutherglen Muscat, NV, Victoria, Australia.

    Wine Tasting Note: Carlyle Wines Classic Rutherglen Muscat, NV, Victoria, Australia. Available from Bonhote Foster for £6.99 half bottle. A contender for the recent Wine Blogging Wednesday challenge for accompanying a rich chocolate cake. Rutherglen m…

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