Madeira can last practically forever without any refrigeration. At higher prices, this fortified wine is sold by vintage and grape variety, in varying degrees of complexity and sweetness and is best saved for sipping. However, Madeira labeled “rainwater” can be perfect for cooking.
Rainwater Madeira is produced in larger quantities than vintage bottlings. It’s significantly lower in price, though still tasty enough to drink. Broadbent and Henriques & Henriques are good brands whose rainwater Madeira can be found for less than $20.
Rainwater Madeira is medium-dry with a nutty, oxidative edge that plays well with garlic and the earthy funk of mushrooms. Serve this hearty sauce with risotto or eggs, or double the recipe and layer with béchamel, Parmigiano and sheets of pasta for an elegant vegetarian lasagna.