Marsala demystified


See also Tim’s cri de coeur about how complicated and under-promoted marsala is. Now, on with the story. 

To make sense of marsala, a brief explanation of the ways in which it can be made is necessary, along with laying out the label terms associated with the various steps. 

First, a quick overview of the ingredients producers have to make their marsala recipes: 

  • Base wine: mainly white, unfortified wine at relatively high 14.5–16% alcohol, made using conventional white-winemaking techniques, sometimes with skin contact. It may or may not be fermented fully dry. Grillo is the main variety, with Inzolia...