I spent the past week drinking Madeira wines and I am still licking my lips. If you have not had Madeira, it is time to try it. It is not like any other wine you have ever had. And that is why it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Madeira is a fortified wine, in which a neutral grape spirit is added. But, Madeira is also heated and oxidized, two things that we are always taught should never be done to wine. But, Madeira is the result of a centuries-old history. In the 1600s and 1700s, the wine was fortified in order to survive traveling on the sea. As the ships sailed through the tropics, the wine would be heated and cooled repeatedly, as well as exposed to oxygen. And that is how Madeira came to be.
Visiting the island of Madeira has been at the top of my bucket list for years! And this past week, my wish came true. Madeira, the subtropical volcanic island with mountainous terrain surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, is magical and hence it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Only thirty-four miles long, Madeira is a beautiful island. It seems like everyone who lives there has an ocean front view, including the one I had from my hotel window.
I only had three days on the island and I kept busy. I visited the Mercado dos Lavradores (farmers' market) in the town of Funchal, where everything grown on the island can be found, such as island bananas, a variety of passion fruit (who knew there were so many different types?!?!) and a very unique item called a monstera deliciosa that was described to me as a banana pineapple. There is also the fish market where the local scabberfish, a very long, black ugly but popular fish, can be found.