Is it me, or has port gone out of style? This delicious fortified wine, that if over-consumed can give you quite the headache, seems to have taken the back seat to wine, sake, flavoured liquors and dessert wines. I remember the days when a glass of deep ruby red port after a weekend meal was common, and in the summer a lovely chilled white port was the perfect aperitivo. Perhaps this is only in my world? I actually can’t even remember the last time I went out with friends and someone ordered a glass of port…
Last night I attended the Fishbar new menu media tasting (which PS, is absolutely outstanding – vlog coming soon) and a lovely white porto (Portuguese port) was served at the end of the meal. Luckily for us, we also received a bottle to take home which made me happy as I pictured myself sipping a chilled glass of rich white porto on my patio this weekend. Hence my thoughts to write about the sad tempered world of port.
The thing is, if you don’t enjoy one type of port, it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it at all. Port wine’s characteristics distinguish it from common wines. All varieties of port have rich, intense, and very persistent aromas and flavour, with high alcohol content (usually between 19% and 22%/vol.) however they exist in a variety of sweetness and colours. Depending on the aging process, taste varies from young and fruity to a deeper and richer flavour in the tawny and ruby port wines. I don’t claim to be an expert, so this is as technical as I’ll get.
Moving onto the white porto I will be sipping on this weekend and enjoyed at last night’s tasting: Quinta Seara D’Ordens, Sweet White Porto. (Available for order from Terroir Wine Imports.) This sweet white porto is a blend of different vintages, aged in used oak barrels and stainless steel vats. It is fresh and very fruity on the nose and fills your palate with spice and honey notes. It was the perfect accompaniment to the trio of delicious desserts we were privy to. I actually genuinely enjoyed it as it has a certain heaviness as found in the tawny and ruby portos, but with the flavours of a chilled white porto. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this porto is available at the LCBO – ah, the joys of the LCBO! – however in my previous life I did Public Relations for Taylor Fladgate, so I do have a soft spot for their ports, specifically Taylor Fladgate Fine White Port (Portugal | $15.95 | VINTAGES) and Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Port (Portugal | $68.95 | VINTAGES), both of which are available at the LCBO.
I say, let’s bring porto back!