Updated December 8, 2010
Cyndi A. asks Tim –
For the holidays, I've decided to include a Port wine at my dinner table for a change.
Trouble is, I am clueless as to what Port is and which ones to pick. I'd appreciate any help
in this department.
Tim responds –
Port wine is a great idea to serve during the Christmas holiday. It has a thicker consistency than your typical bottle of wine and goes great with desserts. Here's a quick Port 101 lesson: Port is made from a variety of grapes cultivated in northern Portugal. At a specific time in the fermentation process, the wine is transferred to vats where local brandy is added. The brandy serves to halt the fermentation process, as well as ensure that some of the grape sugar is retained (hence the intense sweetness in most Ports). Port divides quickly into two different wines: Vintage ports and wood ports. Wood ports are the more popular and recognizable wines. Examples are: Ruby, Tawny and White. These wines spend their lives in wooden casks and once they reach the bottle, they are ready for drinking. Some of my favorite ports are Meyer Family Port ($35.99), Pocas 20 Year Old Tawny ($59.99) and the Granddaddy of them all: Graham's vintage Port 2003 ($109.99). Enjoy the holidays and stay warm.
Cheers! Tim Brinkmann