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The Origin of Marsala 

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

This type of unique wine is made in Sicily. If you ever come across a bottle that was produced elsewhere, don’t trust it!

A fortified Italian wine grown and produced near the Sicilian city of Marsala, Marsala wine has a loyal following around the world. From the late 1700s, Marsala became a popular shipping wine. Due to its fortification, it did not spoil on long sea voyages. Today, it is perfect for cooking as well as drinking, and this accessible wine is versatile and affordable.

Marsala sweet wines

It was an Englishman the first to understand its great potential, as English were the first to appreciate it, it was an Italian family who made it famous worldwide: the Florios.

According to the most widely known story, it was the year 1773 when the ship on which Mr. John Woodhouse was traveling, chased by a storm, had to seek refuge in the small port of Marsala. Pure Sicilian luxury

As expected, the ‘Marsala’ was much appreciated. Not a big surprise: after all the English people already loved the taste of similar wines like Port, Sherry, and Madeira. Woodhouse had to build a factory in Sicily to satisfy the great demand.

At Segreto, we have a great selection of the ones we like the most. All done in small batches by small producers. Try all of them :)

What does Marsala Wine taste like?

Pour a glass of Marsala and you’ll be greeted by sweet flavors like brown sugar, vanilla, and apricot. This wine can vary in sweetness and ranges from a very dry style to almost syrupy sweet. High-end Marsala wines contain a more complex flavor that can incorporate sweet cherry, apple, dried fruit, honey, walnut, and tobacco.

What color is Marsala Wine?

Marsala is available in three different colors. Golden, amber, and ruby. Depending on the color, the wine will have a different sweetness level. Ruby is considered the sweetest version, while amber is semi-sweet, and gold is dry.

What foods do you pair with Marsala Wine?

Probably the most famous dish that incorporates Marsala wine is Chicken Marsala. This traditional dish originated in Sicily, which is the home of Marsala wine. Marsala wine is also a great addition to chocolate, grilled asparagus, and roasted Brussel sprouts.


Marsala is divided into different styles depending on the type of grapes used and the method of how it was made. Despite the name, ‘Fine Marsala’ is actually the lowest grade and this is the type usually used for cooking with. Here are some tips when cooking with Marsala wine: Dry Marsala wine: Use dry Marsala wine when you are cooking something savory like beef, mushrooms, or veal. The dry wine will add a nutty flavor and caramelization to the food. Sweet Marsala wine: Use sweet Marsala wine when you are cooking sweeter dishes or making a thick sauce. This type is more commonly used in dessert dishes or dishes with chicken or pork. Marsala for cooking: Marsala wine will be quite sufficient for cooking with. Recipes will mostly call for Gold or Amber Marsala, although in rare cases, they may call for Ruby.



Marsala has a unique flavor because of two reasons. First, it must be made only from Sicilian indigenous grapes. Second, the process of making Marsala is very complex. It must be fortified with brandy or another neutral grape alcohol. Because it must be made from Sicilian indigenous grapes, Marsala wine can only be made in Sicily, unlike other varieties of wine that can be made around the world.

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