Maderized Wine


What does it mean, to connote? Basically, you have a word and in addition to its primary meaning you add or suggest an associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression. A connotation can be both positive and negative.

Heat damaged wines are often called maderized. As a friend of Madeira wine, I really hate that expression. Madeira is all about intention. You want the heat in the wine making process. It’s an essential part for Canteiro aged Madeira but it’s not just about heat and then it’s fine. No, handing heat demands knowledge and skills.

When should I move a cask to a colder Canteiro? Is the heat too high resulting in too fast evaporation? Is it relatively constant or does it go up and down on a daily basis? Decades later you have the result. It’s a work of art simply, to produce a Vintage or Colheita Madeira.

Maderized wines. It could be understood as wines which are produced the Madeira wine way. And should be. It’s mostly not. The expression is by far too often misleadingly used to describe a flaw which can be related to crappy storage conditions, that is, too warm. We could simply call it…..oxidized.

1986 Malvazia. A flaw?Hence the expression maderized has a negative connotation. Hard to find anything positive there. How does that help Madeira and its producers when so many refer it to a negative connotation which in the end involves Madeira wine? The next time you’re using the expression think about it. And question people using it to describe the oxidized flaw and ask them if Madeira also is to be considered one huge flaw then.

Dont tell me that you’re calling a malolactic fermentation that happens in the bottle for champagnerized?

  • patrickdh

    You raise a good point and have opened a window of opportunity

    • I think so to Patrick. I mean, who else would accept a negative connotation with their brand? Madeira has to struggle enough already. This doesn’t help.

      • patrickdh

        And who else is a position to co-create an effort to ‘positivize’ this trend – it’s a point I would raise with producers in order to explore ways of collaboration


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