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Madeira - what is it?


I’d say - if you moor in Funchal - just go the Blandys. Take the tours if you have the time, if not you can still taste Madeira including older ones there. Cost of tasting is deducted from any purchases.

Although I made an online booking for the vintage tour on their website when I got there in June they admitted that the online booking wasn’t working - they seemed to have no idea when or if it would be fixed. We were signed up for the vintage tour there and then.

The Madeira Wine Museum was closed for renovation with no indication when it’d reopen.


Thanks for all the helpful tips. I have now read the tws guide (and realised my question about aging was redundant/silly!). It seems our agent has organised a free Blandy’s wine lodge tour. So that’s covered! Though I expect it will only be the younger wines for tasting.

I shall duly taste and maybe risk carrying home!



Ahoy Captain! Hope your journey is going well! :sailboat:

Let us know how the tasting went if you got a moment.

We always have a Madeira stashed in the cupboard - currently it’s https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/henriques-henriques-verdelho-15-year-old-madeira/036244-18179-18180

As others said - the stuff is indestructible, so no need to worry once you’ve opened it, and it’s utterly delicious (love it on its own as a nightcap). :+1::+1:


In June the basic tour (called the Premium Tour) had these included to taste at the end:
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L>R - Rainwater (3yo), Verdelho (5yo) Malmsey (2010 vintage)

You can still taste older wines by paying per wine at the counter


Thanks again. Voyage going well but we sadly lost the wind for much of this leg and have had to use the engine more than we would have liked. But more wind forecast for next leg.

Will try to take notes but will be with others who are not
as wine obsessed as us maniacs!


When I was there, there was a touristy tasting room with the cheaper wines, and across the hallway was the posh tasting room where you could order the older “vintage” Madeiras by the glass and buy bottles of the same. For those flying out of Funchal you had the option of collecting your bottles at the airport after passing through security.


I’ve not had a chance to get online since our visit to Madeira so apologies for the delay in responding.

The tour around Blandy’s Wine Lodge (this is not like the old Yates Wine Lodges, but rather the building in which the Madeira was originally aged and where some still is) was interesting, informative and enjoyable, if rather brief (around 45 mins including tasting). As our ship’s agent was tied in to Blandy in some way (I think almost the entire island is tied into the Blandy family is some way) we got the vintage tasting for free.

Sadly the tasting was not much use to me. I had recently recovered from a cold following which, as usual, my sinuses were playing up big time resulting in major headaches, a bearable problem, and virtually no sense of smell or taste; a bit of a handicap for a wine tasting. I had three different vintage Madeiras placed in front of me and I could not have told them apart. About all I could ‘taste’ was the alcohol! :frowning:

However it is maybe worth noting that upon checking out half a dozen shops selling Madeira in Funchal and checking the prices of the same wines as TWS is selling none of them were any cheaper than TWS. So there would have been no advantage to me buying them and bringing home.