The miracle of madeira
The week before last, at the top of a cliff running sheer down to the Atlantic , I took part in one of the most remarkable tastings I ever expect to enjoy. The 43 wines included no fewer than seven from the 19th century and one, in absolutely fine fettle, from the end of the 18th. I know of no wine that lasts as long as madeira, preserved by a combination of deliberate oxidation, heat and the naturally high acidity in everything grown on this volcanic island. (Pictured is what visitors arriving at Funchal airport, after one of the world's more nerve-racking landings, see as soon as they pass passport control.)...
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