While the natives may drink "vintage" Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally a fortified wine, produced in soleras like sherry, originally to ensure that it would last for long voyages, but now because that's what foreign markets are accustomed to.
Marsala is also frequently used in cooking. A typical Marsala sauce, for example, involves reducing the wine almost to a syrup with onions or shallots, then adding mushrooms and herbs. Marsala is also used to produce the rich Italian custard dessert zabaglione.
Marsala is often compared with another Sicilian wine, Passito di Pantelleria (Pantelleria Island's raisin wine).