Sunday, October 6, 2013

Port for Autumn Evenings

A week or so ago we had an early cool spell here. The days were cool and sunny and the evenings clear and brisk.

After a small supper I opened a bottle of Warre's  Vintage Porto from the 1994 vintage.  It had been sitting in the cellar with one of its litter-mates for more than ten years so I made the decision to open one of them.

The wine was still young, but there were wonderful flavors of sweet, dark plums, the blackest cherries possible and a hint or two of  dark chocolate.  Those flavors kept changing over the course of an hour or so with the cherries coming to the fore, then the plums and then back to cherries.  It was on the dry side for a vintage port and I found that aspect very attractive.  The finish was long and sweet and yet remained refreshing.

On the second evening the traditional port accompaniments made their appearance.  I halved and cored a ripe pear and tossed it on the grill with the cut side down.  After a minute or so I turned the pears and filled cavity with some Stilton cheese.  The lid went on the grill until the cheese melted into the pear.  When the pears came off the grill some toasted walnuts were added.    What a great pairing with this wine.  It certainly brought out the plum flavors and a little bit of earthiness.

On the third evening there was still one small glass left and dessert was several squares of 60% cacao dark chocolate sprinkled with sea salt.   That was a wake up call for the cherries.

The remaining bottle is still tucked away and I think it will rest for at least another five years since the first one was in excellent condition and still young.  Great stuff.

1994 Warre's Vintage Porto.  20% alcohol and $55 dollars about ten years ago.

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