In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I attempt to simplify one of the greatest of cool-weather beverages, Port – and I try to tell you most of what you will ever need to know about Port in under five minutes. I fail, primarily because I go way over five minutes, but along the way I reveal a simple fact about Port that just might blow your mind, and taste a great (and relatively inexpensive!) introduction to the Ruby Port style. Enjoy!
Tasted in this episode:
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port (Porto)
Apparently this long-standing Reserve Ruby Port (Cockburn’s invented the Reserve category in the late 1960s) from this long-standing producer (they’ve been in the Port biz for about 200 years) was revamped recently when Symington Family Estates gobbled up Cockburn’s last year – the grapes are primarily from the Quinta do Canais vineyard in the upper Douro, and the style has been tweaked along with the packaging. The result is a higher-quality Reserve Port that’s quite true to its Ruby colors: semi-dried fruits like fig and date can be found, along with dark cherries, plums and the “signature” peppery spice that marks a good Ruby. Chocolate notes send the whole thing down the hatch in a fairly well-balanced, elegant, and downright genteel package. A solid buy for cooler evening, post-dinner, fireside-chat action.
I need to preface this tale of a (somewhat-failed) experiment by telling you (aside from the normal disclosure that I received all of the products as samples for possible review) that I have nothing against massive on-line tasting events like the recent #ChampagneDay (or its also recent big-brother #CabernetDay).
I’ve got a long history (since Day One, actually) with TasteLive.com, who kind of started the whole kumbaya-peace-love-and-Marsha-Brady-let’s-all-taste-together-on-line thang in the first place, after all. And I love the communal aspect, and the conviviality, that are at the heart of those tasting events.
It’s just that it doesn’t feel as though Champagne or Cabernet Sauvignon need their own tasting days. I mean, from a brand-recognition standpoint, these wines are like Pepsi or the Chicago Bulls. It’s not like no one’s ever heard of them, or never drinks the stuff, or that they have pricing issues on the high end.
So I’m kind of waiting for the underdog wine tasting day on twitter, myself (#BonardaDay, anyone?) before I get too excited about these grape-themed events.
But the twitter peeps were a persistent bunch, asking me (many times) about participating in #ChampagneDay last week, so eventually I caved into the pressure… of wanting Champagne to pair with take-out sushi for dinner that night (which is a f*cking EPIC food-and-wine pairing, by the way). Because I am a slave to the evil twin drives of surprise and novelty, and because I know my place in the Roberts household (lower on the totem pole than my daughter, but slightly higher than my dog… I think), I decided to to pop open the bubbly and pair it with… samples of cookies specifically designed (or, at least, specifically marketed!) to pair with Sparkling wine.
The results? Not-so-Epic…
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