What Does Marsala Taste Like? You Should Know

Have you ever encountered a marsala as an ingredient in the recipe that you chose to try this time? Do you find it hard to know it looks like since you don't think you have encountered it already? Do you want to know what does marsala taste like?

Now you don't have to worry about it. This article is for you to know what does marsala taste like as it will affect the outcome of the recipe that you want to try.


What is Marsala?

In order for you to know what a marsala tastes like, you have to know what it is first.

For example, in Chicken Marsala, it is a popular chicken dish that is mixed with a wine and a mushroom sauce. The wine that is used in this dish is that of marsala which originated from Sicily. It is widely used as one of the ingredients in some cooking recipes, especially because it helps create a sauce that is richly caramelized.

In having marsala as an ingredient in cooking, you have to know that there are two styles: dry and sweet. However, marsala right now is so undervalued. It is often thought of only as an ingredient in cooking when it does not only function as such. It can also be dried and fine enough so that it can also be taken as a wine for sipping. And you have to take note, a true marsala can only be made in Sicily!

Types of Marsala

Since there are two types of marsala, the dry and the sweet, let us differentiate them and know its use.

  • A dry marsala is oftentimes used for entrees that are savory wherein it provides a flavor that is nutty and it also assists the caramelization of the tenderloin of a beef, mushroom, turkey, and even a veal.
  • A sweet marsala, on the other hand, is oftentimes utilized in making sauces that you want to be sweet and viscous. Recipes for desserts and main dishes that include chicken or pork loin often require this kind of marsala sauce.

For an additional info, though, a dry marsala can be a substitute for a sweet one but definitely not the other way around.

There are actually a lot of flavors that a marsala can have. The most common among all those are vanilla, tamarind, brown sugar, and a stewed apricot. It can range from a dry style to that of a sappy sweet one and it is served in a quite cool temperature which is at around 55-degree F.

Given this, there are four types of marsala and they vary according to their alcohol content and the number of years in which they are stored:

  • Fine. This is a marsala which has a 17-degree alcohol content which is stored in less than a year.
  • Superiore. This is a marsala which has an 18-degree alcohol content which is stored in less than two years.
  • ​Superiore Riserva. This is a marsala which has an 18-degree alcohol content which is stored for four years.
  • Vergine Soleras. This is a marsala which has an 18-degree alcohol content which is stored for five long years.

How long does Marsala last after opening?

And then you will want to wonder afterward, what is the time period in which the marsala will maintain its taste when it has already been opened? Well, it oftentimes stays fresh for about a month. However, if you want its taste to last for quite a while longer, you have to keep it in a dark place that is cool enough and remove that oxygen in it before installing its lid by utilizing a can of a wine preserver.

A marsala that is used for cooking that has entry-level is the one that is best for such purpose. A bottle of marsala which can costs you at about 10$ or so can last you for quite a time. It can be more efficient if you use a FINE or SUPERIOR style of marsala.

You can also have a substitute for marsala. The best one would be Madeira since it has the closest association to the taste of marsala, compared to the others. However, if you can find neither marsala nor Madeira, and you need it so much in your recipe, you can try simmering a part of brandy with two parts of a white wine, a brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

So, you see. A marsala can be dry or sweet depending on what recipe you are planning to make. It also can take quite a lot of flavors varying from vanilla to a stewed apricot. Its style depends on how much sugar it contains and how long it is being stored. It can also take substitutions in times when you cannot find it in the market and it is needed in your recipe.

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