In the fall, when there's a bit of crisp chill in the air, is a great time to open up a bottle of Madeira from Portugal. And, although Independence Day is almost a distant memory, did you know that our founding fathers toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the choice of drink at the time, Madeira?
I really like the quality-for-the-price ratio of Blandy's Alvada 5-Year-Old Rich Madeira, which sells for $18.99 here. It's a blend of two classic Madeira grapes: Malmsey and Bual.
The result is a luscious Madeira with apricot and nut notes, combining with the molasses-like flavors of the Malmsey grape, ending in a bright, long finish.
You could enjoy it by itself in a chilled glass, but try it out with food, too, such as grilled chicken or Southwestern pork with apricots.