The island of Madeira belongs to Portugal but is geographically closer to Africa. Centuries ago it used to be a stop for ships headed to
America. They would take on casks of the local wine- a fortified product- as ballast. When they arrived they found that the wine, which had been "cooked"
during the voyage, actually became a superior beverage. And thus Madeira became a very popular drink in the Americas.
Similar to Sherry, Madeira ranges in flavor from a very dry version to very sweet. The wine can last decades and because its popularity has waned, aged
Madeiras are wonderful bargains.
The island is stunningly beautiful. Most of the resorts are centered around Funchal. However there are only 2 airlines serving the island so access is not
easy. It's worth the trip!