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A popular wine originating from the Portuguese Island of Madeira that is well known and served as an apéritif. The richer bodied Madeiras is generally served as an after dinner beverage while the lighter flavored varieties are favored as dessert wines. Madeira can also be used as a cooking wine for savory dishes and dessert sauces. There are several varieties of this well-known beverage, such as Sercial, Malmsey, Bual, and Verdelho. Sercial is a very light and dry variety that has a pale amber color. Malmsey is the sweetest of the varieties and matures to a dark amber color. Bual is similar to Verdelho in taste and color, both being semi-sweet and amber in color. The Portuguese wines continue to be more expensive and more flavorful than the American made varieties.
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