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Any port drinkers?

fortified

#1

Hi all,

As there is a Sherry topic already started and there has already been mention of some Niepoort white port and tonic so I figured I would start a thread about port. Much like Sherry I also enjoy port as there are so many different types coupled with the fact that port evolves over time (for the better).

I do enjoy all sorts of ports however my favourtive is a Grahams 20 year old Tawny, I have had the honour of trying a flight of the Graham tawnys - the 10, 20 30 40 and single harvest 72. I found for me that the sweet spot was the 20 year old, the 30 and 40 year old were still very good, slightly more concentrated and the 72 was quite complex. The 20 year old for me had enough average age to get some complexity and concentration but not too complex as to make you think too much!

I also enjoy LBV ports as well they are a step up from the standard ruby but far cheaper than a vintage port (both in time and money).

Has anyone else here tried the Society crusted port? Its not that common to find a crusted port but the Society does a really nice one, its basically a budget vintage port, worth trying/storing for a bit if you haven’t already.


#2

I normally only drink port in December and need to find excuses to drink year round.
I have tried and enjoyed both The Society’s bottles above.
I have now added the “Graham’s Tawny Port 20 Years Old” to my wish list and now need an excuse to try it.


#3

I try and find an excuse to drink port when I can, luckily my wife likes LBV so I don’t mind opening a bottle as I know it will be finished before it starts to degrade. I seem to enjoy Grahams ports as I enjoy that style, much like Burgundies or Champagne its more the ‘house style’. The 20 year old Grahams Tawny isn’t the cheapest so its one I can only really justify every now and again considering you can enjoy The Society’s LBV at a far more modest price.

I would also recommend trying various Portuguese table wines as well as the usually use the same grapes as the ports and can be quite complex - the table wines usually get overlooked but people are now discovering them.

Really hoping that there is a generally declared port vintage soon as I can then look to buy a case En Primeur and lay down for retirement!


#4

That’s interesting - my wife is the same. She isn’t a big fan of Tawny of any age, but I LOVE them so it is a bit of a struggle. Keeping two bottles of port open and not being tempted to finish both is more than I can resist some evenings :slight_smile:

I too love the Graham’s 20yo. It is a real shame that it is relegated to a “Christmas drink” along with sherries, madeira, marsala and many other potentially great wines. There is no reason they can’t be enjoyed throughout the year, but all the marketing and promotion gets done around Christmas which only reinforces the seasonality of these wines.

Many 40yo are just too intense for my taste, but I have found some that are really fantastic, managing to walk the line between amazing complexity without straying too far towards unctuousness and keeping more freshness.


#5

Absolutely - I’ve enjoyed several of the Portuguese reds in the list, and in particular this one:


#6

On topic: I can’t remember a time when I’ve opened a bottle of port and had any left at the end of the evening, regardless of the number of people involved! On that basis, I am unsure if I should be opening more bottles or fewer!

Off topic and related to Portuguese table wines, the wine below I think might be a contender for best value red anywhere on the Society list. It’s one of those wines that always seems to make it onto my order and which always surprises me when I open it.


#7

ha! that mainly seems to happen to me with Vintage Port … I swear that what we left after our ‘sensible enjoyment’ must evaporate overnight


#8

I don’t drink a lot of Port, but when I do I like it to have age and character. On the ruby front I’d rather drink a good crusted or a single quinta than an LBV. More open to Tawnies (incidentally a much better cheese wine than ruby). I have a bottle of Calem 1961 Colheita waiting for an appropriate moment (it’s delicious - I was lucky enough to taste another bottle a year ago). 2021 may seem appropriate, but it’s 4 years away. Not sure I can wait that long.
My three best Port moments were (i) the bottle of Graham’s 1960 we opened for my parents’ golden wedding, (ii) the Taylor’s 1960 we opened for my 50th (a conception year Port was far cheaper than a birth year claret!!) and (iii) a wine epiphany for my aunt and uncle - a simple bottle of Croft’s Quinta da Roeda (can’t remember the vintage) which was consumed by four of us after a particularly boozy dinner, and was drunk in proper glasses with proper amounts poured. It was the very first time my aunt & uncle had ever drunk proper Port properly - until then their experience of Port was stale ruby from a schooner!


#9

I do agree with the use of the correct glass and treat it as a wine - much like Sherry - such a shame when people try stale port in a tiny glass, saying that I went to Gordon’s wine bar in London (oldest wine bar in London), there were 2 options for port servings, a schooner or a beaker - a beaker of port is just perfect :smiley:


#10

@M1tch totally agree about Gordon’s and their beakers of fortified wine!


#11

request a visual aid - I thought a schooner was a ship…the main issue I have with port is the image it has - the last popular cultural reference I recall was in the first episode of the recent adaptation of Decline and Fall where the two Dons gleefully anticipate spending college fines on port…need I say more…


#12

They are indeed ships but also glasses, I believe in UK pubs a schooner is 2/3rd of a pint so around 380ml :slight_smile:


#13

These are the schooners I was thinking of - they traditionally only hold 50 or 60 ml. Stale Port in one of these won’t set your heart racing any time soon …


#14

terrible memories @Ewan - please never mention these glasses or stale port again


#15

But surely you put Port in a decanter, pour eight schooners every Christmas, and replenish only when empty, in around five Christmasses time … isn’t that how it works?


#16

I think the correct amount of port measure is ‘a barrel’ of port :smiley:


#17

… or even a pipe I believe (that’s even bigger!)


#18

I definitely need some proper Port glasses I think - my current ones are a bit like this:

I’ll be totally honest, I think they were £1 each from a garden centre and are probably supposed to be tealight holders… :see_no_evil: :joy:

Seeing as I’ve officially lowered the tone (sorry…), can I ask all you much better-informed Port fans how long you’d say an opened bottle of Port will last before it’s past its best?


#19

Didn’t know much about Port until a recent trip to Lisbon and a couple of really interesting port flights, followed by a few more glasses if my favourites. I am a big fan now but would be concerned that an open bottle would be an empty one far too easily


#20

So put that in your pipe and … drink it?