Unlike any other wine in the world, Madeira will remain virtually unchanged from the time you open the bottle until the time days, weeks, months, years later when you decide to finish it. This is a long-term relationship.
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Holiday foods are about spice and berries, nuts and chocolate, roasts and cheeses, caramel, ginger and jam. There's one wine that pairs with all of it, and that wine is port.
It's HOT in the Douro. So temperature control in wineries and the wine tanks themselves makes a huge difference here: cool, fresh grapes are much more capable of making cool, fresh wines.
When I head to the store for summer wines, I keep "GRPS" (grapes without the vowels) in mind. It stands for Grenache, Rosé, Portugal/Spain, and Sauvignon Blanc, and these wine categories open up a world of tasty new options for summer get-togethers.