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 didn’t want it to end. But it did.
Both Ports had mild aromas and thick, full-bodied legs. It was a good place to begin my Port adventure because the two were noticeably different in initial quality and overall tasting experience. Both had 19% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Dow’s Ruby Port: 2.5 Nostrils (out of 5)
Dow’s Tawny Port: 3.5 Nostrils