Month: October 2015

Warre’s Warrior Porto

This “Finest Reserve” founded in 1670, in Portugal, is the “oldest brand of Port from the oldest British Port company.”  The winery is owned by the prolific Symington family, who have produced fine quality Ports since the 1800’s.  The Symingtons describe their Porto as “rich, full-bodied, and matured in our cellars to a mellow balance of wild red-fruit flavors, supported by spicy and elegant tannins.” Warre’s Warrior Porto has an aroma which is evident and fresh with fruit and deep oak; it is full-flavored with light tannins and a smooth, quick finish. I immediately needed another sip as there was little lingering affect. Legs seem to hang in suspension forming a hill around the rim of my glass. Unlike previous Ports, Warrior sported no mini-legs, fat legs, stick legs, etc. Just rounded itself into a hill formation, as if staking out its territory. The Warrior initially tasted sweet, with mildly textured tannins; there is nothing remarkable or novel to report. However, its high (20%) ABV and “friendly” manner can make a disagreeing duo – – sip slowly …

Del Rio Syrah Port

 This 2009 Dessert Wine deserves to be called a fully fledged Port! Del Rio Syrah Port is made in Oregon’s southern Rogue Valley, between the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains. It was one of only four Ports offered by my local Safeway and was the first to require an actual wine opener (previously, I’ve used my thumb to punch open the cardboard!). It was also my first Port to use a new styled snifter, which possibly presented an unfair advantage over the competition, because you can’t help but stick both nostrils down into the snifter as you sip. Plus, these adorable little snifters allow you to warm the Port, with your hands, adding to the entire Port experience. This particular Port  is very full-bodied and deep in flavor. It’s made from near-black Syrah grapes; subsequently, it has a brief sharpness and an undeniable fruitiness, followed by veritable spices.  The legs are thick and wide (if there is such a thing) and as the spices take leave, the warmth and tannin kick in. At $16.47 for a small …

Terra D’Oro

I feel cheated! Until just a few minutes ago, I was going to brag about what a superb deal I got on this week’s featured Port, Terra D’Oro. My daughter and I were vacationing at the Morrison Lodge in Merlin, Oregon. I ordered a Port during dinner.  The waiter informed me that their one and only Port was not available by the glass (rats!), but he would gladly check on the price for a bottle (375 ml, a “baby” bottle) of Terra D’Oro Zinfandel Port. I overheard the waiter speaking to the manager: “How much is the bottle?” “I’m not sure, retail, but we paid $37 for the bottle.” Long story short, I bought the baby bottle for $27, feeling pretty smug about the whole transaction. I was thinking if they actually paid $37, wholesale, then I scored a $74 bottle of vino (yes, “vino” – – it’s no longer just “wine” at these prices!) for only $27. So far, so good. Enter “Google.” Doing a little background research prior to publishing this week’s blog, …

Let The Sipping Begin!

For my very first Port experience, I chose to compare two Dow Ports (Tawny and Ruby) for  various reasons: I love a bargain, and Dow offers each Port for less than $14.00 I wasn’t sure I’d even like Port, because I’ve always been a Cabernet/Merlot consumer, not a big fan of sweet wines. Again, I’m cheap! Why would I invest real money in something I might not even cook with? Comparing Ruby to Tawny gave me a “baseline” with which to compare future Ports. Prior to purchasing the two varietals, I was informed by the wine steward that Ruby Ports are aged in stainless steel barrels while their Tawny counterparts grow to maturity in oak; I’m already favoring the latter! Comparing Dow’s Ruby and Tawny Ports was akin to recalling former lovers: One (the Ruby) was initially likeable but superficial, quick-to-finish, with no memorable features. The Tawny, however, was complex, with a welcoming aroma, a little rough (great tannins!), and full of tongue action with lingering warmth and a smooth finish! In short, I just …