Madeira is a fortified wine from the Portuguese island of Madeira, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The unique flavor of Madeira is derived through heat and oxidization, a legacy of the time when the fortified wine was transported by lengthy ship voyages, centuries ago. Today, these conditions are duplicated in hot rooms or heated tanks where the Madeira is stored for at least 90 days. Fine Madeiras are aged in wooden casks in warm conditions for years to develop the unique flavor even further.
The color of Madeira range from pale blond to deep tawny, and is usually fortified to about 20 percent alcohol (40 proof).