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Cantine Florio – There is No Such Thing as a Marsala Wine Substitue

Written by Dean Lapthorne AKA Dr Noble Rot on . Posted in drink

cantine florio, marsala wine, what is marsala wine

On a recent ‘patient visit’ to Italy (where this good Doctor shall be relocating his drinking ‘practice’ as of late November) I stumbled into Sicily: yes, mafia land and home to scary dudes with lots of chest hair & gold jewelry. But its also home to some cracking vino and an absolute little gem called Marsala (which comes from, funnily enough, Marsala!).

italian fortified wine, types of marsalaIt’s an Italian fortified wine much in the vein of port or sherry and its the bees knees! A lot of people use it for cooking and in things like Tiramisu – but a lot of people can’t be bothered to buy a bottle for the small half a cup needed when making stuff.

Some people often substitute Marsala wine when cooking with stuff like Madeira or Amontillado – but let me tell you – there is no Marsala wine substitute – nor should it even be contemplated.

Just go and get a bottle – the stuff will never go bad (well – not if you drink it) anyway it tastes good. What does marsala taste like – it tastes awesome! Get into it.

We were privileged to have been given a tour of Cantine Florio, who are one of the oldest producers in Marsala and a deadset icon in the Italian wine trade.

Problem was the tour was at 11pm at night and we were 3 sheets to wind and half way to next Tuesday. Thank you magnums of Valdo Prosecco!

All I remember is a lovely girl called Sara who was our guide, tasting 3 different types of Marsala  (which were class), buying 2 bottles said Marsala for €15 and then offending an English lady with a penis joke.

See some grainy iPhone photos of said ‘patient visit’. We hurriedly left as the English lady was trying to file a harassment suit and debunked in a local bar where the beer tasted like fish. Can you smell the hangover?

Whatever you do – spend a bit extra and get a nice bottle – don’t substitute Marsala wine for something else – and do go out and get the 8 liter cooking stuff – you can buy a nice bottle of Cantine Florio here – use what you need for cooking and drink the rest!!

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Dean Lapthorne AKA Dr Noble Rot

Dean Lapthorne AKA Dr Noble Rot

Dean lives in Santa Sofia in Emilia Romagna, Italy and likes to ride around on his bicycle and drink wine. He has a Masters in International Relations and a Grad Dip in Wine Business. Originally from Australia he is also the founder of

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