Saturday, October 9, 2010
Cooler Weather Means It’s Time To Come Into Port
Have I ever told you how much I enjoy writing this column? Well, I do.
I know that you most regularly hear me complaining about having to be up late nights, or early in the morning to write this article. (Tasting wines at 5a.m. is for professionals only.) The pay is….well…nonexistent. But, other than that, this is pretty cool stuff. Especially when I get fantastic bottles of wine delivered to my door!
Last week the Fed Ex person showed up to my door with a box. One that must be signed by someone over 21 years of age. Immediately, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I started salivating. As I opened the package, my heart raced. As I looked inside I swooned and cried out in ecstasy! Really! I did. Just ask my horrified wife.
Inside were two bottles of one of my favorite beverages of all time. It was a bottle of Dow’s Trademark Reserve Port, and a bottle of Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Port. I was in heaven!
I’m not sure I ever shared this with you, but the thing that changed me over from a newbie white wine drinker to a skilled and accomplished red wine drinker was a nectar of the gods called Port. I’m serious as a heart attack about this. I LOVE Port!
My friends from Calhoon and Company, the wine marketers with style, had sent me these bottles with the hopes that I would write about them to you. I think they are getting their way. Don’t you?
Dow’s was established in 1798. The company has been family owned for over 200 years. The Symington family operates this esteemed winery still today.
Dow’s Trademark Reserve is the “freshest” of the Dow’s lineup. It offers up nice aromas of mint and other aromatic spices. The blackberry and cocoa flavors are wonderfully rich, with a sweet but dry finish that lingers and leaves you wanting more. This is a great Port for enjoying with dark chocolate and blue cheese. It is also fantastic in cocktails.
Graham’s is probably one of my favorite Port labels of all time. The company makes several labels, but the most distributed in this region are “Six Grapes”, a 10 Year Tawny, and a 20 Year Tawny. The Symington family acquired Grahams in 1970, and have brought the winery to be what it is today.
Aged 10 years in oak casks, the 10 Year Tawny offers up a light red-brown color, with aromas of fruit and rich, buttery caramel. The flavors are incredibly rich, with caramel and soft vanilla accents all the way through. This is my choice for a good cigar port. Paired with a rich Maduro cigar on my deck, I sit and ponder how the other half lives.
I’m not the only one to think that Graham’s 10 year is amazing. Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast have both scored it a hard to reach 92 point score.
Now, about the cool weather. Port can be served chilled, with ice. However, the best time to serve Port is when it cools off outside. There is really not much better to warm your heart on a cool fall evening than a glass of Port.
Dow’s is fairly hard to find around here, however Graham’s is readily available both at fine retail shops and establishments throughout the region. I suggest you buy a bottle, sit back, and…Enjoy.