Rainwater…A Madeiran wine
The term Rainwater Medium Dry Madeira is a hugely historic term for a specific style of Madeira wine and is reputed to have emerged from the United States.
Legend has it that a shipment of Madeira wine barrels were left uncovered or uncorked for some time in heavy rain.
The importer nonetheless sold the wines on to unsuspecting customers, but luckily the wines sold and proved hugely popular!
It appears that due to the thorough soaking by the rain and dilution received, this produced this lighter wine style which is today very popular indeed. That’s the story anyway.
The Rainwater of today is at the Medium dry and of the taste spectrum and likely to be a blend of Verdelho and tinta negra.…and an excellent summer drink when chilled to accompany ham salads and other cooked meats as well as spicy foods and Chinese foods.
This wine is recognised by Vinho Madeira (IVBAM). Rainwater Madeira wine must be at least 5 years old.
Most producers offer a Rainwater Madeira wine, made from Tinta Negra with a dash of Verdelho making this an excellent wine to start your exploration of Madeira wine.
Barbeito’s “Atlantic” has a citrus note with lemons to the fore along with pistachio nuts Blandy’s Rainwater is less citrus with notes of apples and pears and a buttery finish. Cossart and Gordon has a citrus note more focused on orange peel and a vanilla and spice finish. Leacock’s stays true to fruit, but with a stronger hint of dried fruits and a note of honey. It is such a difficult choice, so my advice is to organise a tasting session, with a range of these wines lightly chilled and accompanied by some nuts and biscuity nibbles.