Sunday, February 6, 2011

SPLURGE: Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port

As many of you know, I missed the last lecture in my WSET series, and it just happened to be the most important for the test - sparkling wines and Ports/Sherrys/Liquors. Consequently, I had never tried a Port except in Port wine sauce, and had no concept of what they were supposed to taste like (other than what the book said). Although I promised to review the shiiiite Port I bought last week (it was a Ruby, and it was nasty - even Jon, who will drink many things that I wouldn't even sniff, agreed it was foul), I decided to review the *good* bottle instead (even though it's not a *cheap* purchase). A good substitute, however, is the Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny, which runs for around $15-20 and has a lot of similar qualities as this Graham's 20.

Verdict: This bottle, purchased by Clare's darling father after reading about it in the paper, is a nice intermediate-to-advanced Port. The flavor is actually surprisingly syrupy (so much so, that I had to smell it multiple times to be sure that I got the caramel and chocolate notes beyond what my brain associated with Maple Syrup!). The mouthfeel was very smooth and the flavors very integrated, despite the fortification making this 20% alcohol by volume - there's still heat and spice from the alcohol, though, so don't let me fool you.

If I'm being 100% honest, I didn't really like this Port, but that may be because Port just isn't my thing. Sweet wines, I've found, and fortified wines, are almost like an acquired taste - something you perhaps train yourself to enjoy on those nice winter nights sitting by the fire and enjoying good company.

Pairing: As for pairing, I'd definitely pair this with a a fruity dessert to bring out the red fruits that I know are hiding behind that caramel. Perhaps a tart or a parfait would be the right kind of light-but-rich dessert, bold enough not to be masked by the Port but integrated enough to blend well with the flavors. I'd also like to make a glaze for a pie or a cobbler from this Port, because I'm betting it lends itself well to a caramel reduction!

Wine: Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port
Price: Between $50-80, depending on where it's purchased
Purchased: Gift

No comments:

Post a Comment