Port is one of our favorite wines, and it’s definitely not just for Christmas!
Port is truly one of the most unique of the wines, and one you’d do well to add to your wine cellar. Port wine is a sweet, rich red wine that is made in Portugal. In fact, it’s only made in the Douro Valley.
It is often called a “dessert wine” due to its extra sweet flavor, but different styles can be drunk as aperitifs as well as after a meal. The taste will vary depending on the style, but all Port has a few common flavors. For the most part, port wine has strong berry flavors: raspberries, blackberries, and prunes. However, if the port is allowed to age, you’ll find there is an even wider array of flavors, including but not limited to: green peppercorn, hazelnut, figs, almond, and butterscotch.
Don’t limit your experience with port to just an after dinner sip. Port pairs wonderfully with stronger cheeses, such as Stilton. The richer-flavored cheeses—like washed-rind cheese or blue cheese—bring out the sweetness of the port wine, and the berry flavors will enhance the cheese flavors without overpowering it. A small chunk of Stilton, a mince pie and a glass of Port is an unbeatable combination.
Another great way to pair port with food is to serve it with smoked, salted, or roasted nuts. The nuttiness of the port, particularly tawnies, makes for a gorgeous combination of flavors. Any desserts made with chocolate and caramel will be a good option for pairing with port.
Quinta Nova Clã Port Special Reserve $27.99
Clã means Clan … something that binds us to certain people and differentiates us from others. They might be family connections, friends or people who we have not even met. Totally produced in Portugal, this premium Port is produced from vineyards aged between 20 and 30 years old. With a strong red color and dark orange hints, this wine presents an intense and mature red fruit aroma, with vanilla and balsamic notes. It shows some volume in mouth, smoothness and good fresh flavors, especially from the red and black jammy fruits. The finish is long and very elegant. It’s ready to drink now.
Quinta Do Noval Tawny Port $17.99
Produced by the vineyards of Quinto Do Noval where great port has been produced since 1715, Noval’s Tawny port is a carefully selected blend of lighter, softer wines then those used for ruby port. A blend of young and wood-matured wines, this delivers a nice blend of red fruit, caramel, and spice flavors with an easy, gentle, finish.”Silky-tasting, with very fresh and vibrant flavors of dark plum, chocolate and spice. The lush finish is supple and refined. Drink now.” (Wine Spectator) The result is a bright amber port with delicious raisin-like fruit. What a nice value in Tawny Port.
Fonseca Porto Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered 2009 $24.99
Style: Late Bottled Vintage
This superb Late Bottled Vintage porto is aged to full maturity in oak vats. It is then drawn off into bottle with no fining or filtration. As a result the wine loses none of its richness and concentration and preserves all of its natural fullness of body and flavor. This is a finely perfumed wine that has plenty of juicy black currant flavors. Fresh initially, it then develops ripe tannin and a character that emphasizes fruit and a dense aftertaste. It is ready to drink, although because it is unfiltered it will also age well.