Author Topic: In appreciation of Port  (Read 926 times)

Offline phillamb168

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In appreciation of Port
« on: February 22, 2011, 08:49:20 AM »
I love me some of the Tawny stuff. I've found that, in terms of price per ounce per year of aging, Port is typically wayyyy better than Whisky. Don't get me wrong, I have a decent collection of Speyside and Islay single malts, but when it comes to after-dinner drinking I'm having a 10-year tawny that I buy at the grocery store for 12 euros. ANybody else like it?
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 01:06:00 PM »
I'm quite fond of it, but only on rare occasions.  The good stuff is still a bit pricy!  And the cheap American stuff...is basically unspeakable!!!  I wonder if its cheaper over in your neck of the woods, where it basically is just trucked in across the Pyrenees?

Offline akr71

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 01:47:14 PM »
I've never had a Tawny.  I made some blueberry port (or at least a port style wine) last year, thinking that 12 bottles would last quite a while.  I had to hide a couple bottles, as the wife was going through it so fast (and she never used to consider herself a wine drinker).  It ended up being semi-dry, but I did soak some oak cubes in brandy for a month or so and then dumped them (& the brandy) into the carboy for a few more months.
Andy

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Offline phillamb168

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 01:58:31 PM »
I'm quite fond of it, but only on rare occasions.  The good stuff is still a bit pricy!  And the cheap American stuff...is basically unspeakable!!!  I wonder if its cheaper over in your neck of the woods, where it basically is just trucked in across the Pyrenees?

That's a good point, it doesn't have to be imported and is therefore most likely WAY cheaper.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 01:59:19 PM »
I've never had a Tawny.  I made some blueberry port (or at least a port style wine) last year, thinking that 12 bottles would last quite a while.  I had to hide a couple bottles, as the wife was going through it so fast (and she never used to consider herself a wine drinker).  It ended up being semi-dry, but I did soak some oak cubes in brandy for a month or so and then dumped them (& the brandy) into the carboy for a few more months.

I've never made my own port but it sounds like a fun thing to try. Did you make the wine yourself, or was it purchased and then aged, etc?
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 02:25:06 PM »
I have made a few "pseudo" ports, or at least distant cousins of ports, when I had meads that finished too sweet.  Hit them with a relevant ardent spirit and they become rather interesting instead of flabby and poorly fermented.  Nearly a gallon of Speyburn 10 year went into a batch of too-sweet sack mead, for a sort of Anglo-Saxon variant of port, and I also fortified with bourbon a stout-style braggot that likewise was too sweet.  If apple brandy was cheaper, an apple cyser mead fortified with the stuff would be a great little Norman (or west country) take on port...

I gather though that the fortifying agent, while technically brandy, is basically unaged, clear distillate, not a fine aged brandy or anything like that, so the above methods are not strongly analogous to port making.

Offline akr71

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 03:33:19 PM »
I've never made my own port but it sounds like a fun thing to try. Did you make the wine yourself, or was it purchased and then aged, etc?

This is the recipe I followed (scroll down to the Blueberry Wine recipe).  I doubled the recipe & IIRC, it took at least 3 months to finish out - I wasn't expecting to to finish so dry.  Next time I'll use more malt and less sugar to boost the body and sweetness.  I'll also use more oak (& maybe more brandy will leave a little more sweetness).  I left in the bottles for a year before touching it.

Blueberries are pretty damned cheap around here - usually some of the first scrubby plants to take over after a wood lot get cut.  The last couple of years some blueberry growers left their crops to rot (or be eaten by birds) because the price was so low, it cost them more money to harvest than they'd make selling them.
Andy

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Offline alikocho

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 07:48:01 PM »
I love the stuff, and tend to favour Warre's over others. I have few bottle's kicking around that are older than me (heirlooms), but the younger stuff gets drunk fairly fast.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 08:07:32 PM »
We drink port as an aperitif(before meals), but not often and I've never really gotten into the good stuff.  A friend of mine who is obsessed with good port really enjoys one made at Tularosa Vineyards here in New Mexico.  He claims it's as good as most $100 port he's had.
But now that you're in France head down A10 to Cognac.  Skip the major producers and find some mom and pop distillers.  There are some fine cognacs to be had at reasonable prices and you can spend some time at the beach nearby.  Just don't try it in July when all of France heads to the beach.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline phillamb168

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Re: In appreciation of Port
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 10:16:31 AM »
We drink port as an aperitif(before meals), but not often and I've never really gotten into the good stuff.  A friend of mine who is obsessed with good port really enjoys one made at Tularosa Vineyards here in New Mexico.  He claims it's as good as most $100 port he's had.
But now that you're in France head down A10 to Cognac.  Skip the major producers and find some mom and pop distillers.  There are some fine cognacs to be had at reasonable prices and you can spend some time at the beach nearby.  Just don't try it in July when all of France heads to the beach.

Hey, that's a good idea. After our second wedding (one in NYC, one in France for people who couldn't fly) we drove down to Chablis to find some "mom & pop" vineyards. Had a BLAST - France is absolutely fantastic for road trips, there's so much different terrain to cover in such a short amount of time. I'll take your advice and do that this spring. (Yes, I don't go ANYWHERE in July because everybody's on the roads, driving like a bunch of idiots.)
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