Cold weather, warm fires, Christmas music, and holiday gatherings are the perfect backdrop for a bottle of fortified wine. Warming, full-bodied, and rich in texture, fortified wines work well for pairing with the season's decadent desserts (especially those driven by chocolate, nuts, caramels, coffee, and toffee).
Unlike their table wine counterparts, there is no need to put the hurry on a bottle of fortified wine. Port will keep well in a cupboard for a month (or more) and Madeira can store for years after it's been opened, thanks in part to the fortification, estufagem (a 3-4 month heating process), and ultra long aging process. Learn more about fortified wines here, or check out our top recommendations for fortified wines.