Back and Forth over the Equator

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Back and Forth over the Equator

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Earliest Madeira wines had the habit of spoiling at sea during long voyages. Later, a small amount of distilled alcohol made from cane sugar was added to stabilize the wine.

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But heat and movement of ships also transformed the wine. Madeira became very popular as faraway customers prefered the taste of this new style of wine, know as “Returned Wine” or “India Circuit Wine”.

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People thought the secret was the journey over the equator so barrels were shipped back and forth over the equator - until 1794 when a technique of artificially heating the wine was discovered.

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