Australian Malvasia wine regional and flavour profile
WHITE | LIGHT BODY | MEDIUM BODY
Malvasia tastes and aromas
Honey and ripe pears, orange blossoms, with citrusy, lemon and pineapple notes and hints of allspice and vanilla
Malvasia is a versatile wine and can be anywhere between lightweight to full-flavoured, dry to sweet, low to high alcohol. It is also sometimes made as a sparkling wine.
Cellaring potential of Malvasia
The lighter bodied versions of Malvasia do not require ageing and should be drunk young and fresh. Full-bodied dry wines require about two years ageing, and can display light tannins and hints of vanilla, characteristics added by the oak barrels. The sweeter, dessert sure wines can be aged for a number of years in a cool. Dark place.
Facts about Malvasia
- Malvasia is a group of wines grape varieties grown historically in the Mediterranean regions, Balearic islands, Canary Islands and the island of Madeira, but is now grown in many of the winemaking regions of the world.
- Malvasia grapes are used to produce white (and more rarely red) table wines, dessert wines, and fortified wines of the same name, or are sometimes used as part of a blend of grapes, such as in Vin Santo.
- Most ampelographers believe that the Malvasia family of grapes are of ancient origin, most likely originating in Greece.
- Malmsey was one of the three major wines exported from Greece in medieval times.
- In the old days, wine generally only had about 7 per cent of alcohol. It was then quite difficult to sufficiently cool the wine and as a consequence, much of the wine turned sour and could not be stored for any length of time. In contrast, the Malvasia wine even at that time had an alcohol content of about 14 per cent, making it considerably easier to store. Its low degree of acidity was regarded as delicious too!
- In its youth, Malvasia wines are characterized by their heavy body that is often described as “round” or “fat” and soft texture in the mouth.
Australian regions that produce Malvasia
Malvasia wines are produced in Italy (including Lombardia, Apulia, Sicily, Lipari, and Sardinia), Slovenia, Croatia, Corsica, the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands, the island of Madeira, California, Arizona, Australia and Brazil.
What food to pair with Malvasia
Malvasia has an interesting combination of a rich, oily mouth-feel with strong acids, so deep-fried foods pair very well with it. Red Malvasia pairs well with calamari, rich seafood stews and game. White Malvasia works with flaky pastry desserts.