Region: Madeira island
Sercial is the driest style of Madeira wine, and is pale in colour, and quite lightly perfumed. The wine matures into a wonderfully mellow but dry wine (and not as crisp and salty as Manzanilla sherry). Instead Sercial is smooth with subtle flavours of nuts, especially hazel nuts and almonds, the wine has very gentle overtones of wood and a delicate touch of crisp apples. This is a delicate fresh wine that makes an excellent aperitif, and at 18 or 19% ABV is best served in smaller glasses.
Sercial is often served as an aperitif, and can be enjoyed lightly chilled, and accompanies salted almonds, olives, smoked fish and oysters as well as cured meats.
Sercial is particularly pleasant with goats cheese and other dry astringent cheeses such as feta, the Portuguese cheeses to look out for Queijo Fresco; Requeijão; Portuguese Chévre; Rabaçal; Picante de Beira Baixa
This wine is also a great accompaniment for certain cuisines
With Chinese food
This wine accompanies Chinese foods particularly well, and a glass of Sercial with a Chinese banquet is certainly superior to a Pouilly Fume or Sancerre, and is certainly not as strong as a glass of VSOP Cognac!
Another excellent combination to enjoy Sercial is with tuna sashimi and sushi in general and of course Madeiran limpets…..a great delicacy of the island and the only truly native shell fish on the island. Madeira is an excellent island to enjoy the freshest of fresh tuna. The light delicate notes of Sercial will not overpower the delicate flavours of seafood. naturally Sercial will accompany that Madeiran delicacy Espada.
By itself or with a mixer
It is not unknown for Sercial to be drunk as a long drink with tonic…..which is excellent on a hot day in Madeira. The dryish salty tang of Sercial makes this a wonderful drink to be treasured.