The Mid-Atlantic Wine

April 2014 9781849043342 288pp
EU Customers


Who does not know the phrase ‘Have some madeira, m’dear’? Madeira is one of the world’s greatest wines, with a fascinating history few others can equal. Capable of evolution over decades and with seemingly indefinite longevity, precious centenarian bottles are sought by wine connoisseurs world wide, but to the ordinary wine lover more commercial wines offer a wide range of delicious and varied drinking. Once dismissed as a cooking wine, discriminating drinkers enjoy it on its own and, increasingly, as an accompaniment to food. Over a million tourists visit this small island every year, and expanding export markets indicate that the recent revival of interest in madeira continues to gain strength.

This book, originally published in 1998, was short-listed for the André Simon Award and quickly established itself as a wine classic. Alexander Liddell, recognised as the leading authority on madeira, has known the island and its wine for over forty years, and this completely revised new edition brings matters up to date.


‘Throughout, Liddell displays his love for both the island and its wine. His tasting note for an 1875 Sercial might well be applied to this well-researched volume: “[…] gracious, refined, evocative, and in its way delicious”’ — Marc Millon, The Times Literary Supplement

‘A fascinating book full of insightful new material.’ — Tim Atkin, The Observer

‘A serious and well-researched work.’ — Giles MacDonogh, Financial Times

‘If anyone is up to the task of rescuing madeira from extinction it might be Liddell, an evident enthusiast.’ — Peter Black, Times Literary Supplement

‘Where would our understanding of Madeira be without Liddell? … Basically, if you want grounding in Madeira or have become intoxicated by a Sercial or desire more information upon that stash of 1864 Terrantez inherited from your lost uncle, then Liddell is the maven you come to. If you have not developed a penchant for Madeira after reading this book then you never will. You have my sympathies.’ — Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

‘An exceptionally thorough and scholarly guide.’ — Andrew Jefford, Evening Standard

‘There is no better guide than Alex Liddell’s informative and evocative Madeira.’ — Decanter

‘Fascinating. … This book has knowledge of the region and its wines in spades … even after reading just the very first page I had learnt something new … I would urge anybody with an interest, and certainly anybody set to visit the island, to take a copy with them.’ —

Madeira the book is very much like Madeira the wine — an unexpected treasure trove of exotic flavours, complex and with a lingering aftertaste. It’s exactly the sort of book that Madeira deserves.’ — Don Kavanagh,

‘Alex Liddell’s Madeira is a meticulously detailed and engaging study of the eponymously named wine. Encyclopaedic in its breadth, this book will answer almost every question anyone has about how madeira wine has been made and what it may have tasted like from the fifteenth century to the present. As such, it should be the first port of call for those interested in this wonderful wine.’ — Charles C. Ludington, North Carolina State University, author of The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History

‘A glorious comeback… the new edition is meticulously revised to reflect the many changes on Madeira island and in the Madeira wine business.’ —

‘The best book on Madeira.’ —Andrew Jefford, Decanter

‘The first major work on the wines of this enchanting Portuguese island.’ — Conal Gregory, The Scotsman

Madeira is of major importance.’ — Pamela Vandyke Price, Wynbox


Alex Liddell has been a freelance wine and travel writer since 1992. He has written three wine books — two of them nominated for the André Simon Award — published by Sotheby’s, Faber & Faber and Mitchell Beazley.

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