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Malvasia

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All about malvasia wine

Malvasia wine comes from an ancient family line of grapes. Also known as malmsey or malvoisie, it's derived from a set of grapes, with each used to make different types of wine. The versatile grapes produce wine of many colors in sparkling, sweet and dry styles. Some experts believe this wine category originated in Greece. The name "malvasia" comes from Monemvasia, a Greek port, which merchants found when transporting rich dessert wines. Produced now in Italy, Portugal, Spain, United States, Slovenia and Croatia, malvasia varietals form the basis for red and white wine and sweet or table wine.

Types of malvasia

You won't need to choose between traditionally regarded red or white varieties when you opt for Malvasia. For example, malvasia bianca is white, while nera is malvasia red wine. The white malvasia varietals are darker than usual, while the red ones have a light shade. Italy produces at least ten different varieties of malvasia. Malvasia Toscana is a blend that also contains trebbiano. Malvasia puntinata is a superior small-berry product. White malvasia carries a nutty character and sometimes contains hints of dried fruits and orange peel. Malvasia is among the richest Madeira grapes, and the wine produced from it is an exciting diversion from more readily available types such as chardonnay or merlot.

Common characteristics of malvasia sub-varieties

Among the sub-varieties of malvasia, you'll see some common characteristics. Malvasia grapes prefer dry climates with sloping terrain and well-drained soil. If the vine gets damp, it's prone to diseases such as rot. The rootstock of this grape grows vigorously and produces a high yield. Most malvasia varieties derive from malvasia bianca wine that features a deep color and distinguished aromas. Malvasia has a heavy body in its youth and gives a soft texture in the mouth. You'll detect aromas of white currants, apricots and peaches in malvasia white varieties. In red ones, you'll notice rich flavors with chocolate notes.

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