Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 17, 2017
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Any Port on a snowy night

Port makes a great wine companion for the festive table. The fabled Portuguese fortified goes down particularly well at the end of a cold, dreary night — preferably while seated fireside in an oversized armchair. These optimal consuming occasions seem to centre around the holiday season, so for real glad tidings, break out the fruitcake, good cheer and bottle of Port.

But which Port to choose? From Vintage to Tawny, Ruby to LBV (Late Bottled Vintage), there should be a style to please even the Grinch’s palate. But when preferences are unknown, it’s tough to go wrong with mahogany-hued Tawny.

Tawny is the multi-tasker of Ports. A lug can simply be poured and enjoyed solo at the end of the night (as per above). Not to mention, thanks to its sweeter stature and typically nutty nuances, Tawny makes a great partner for desserts — be it a cheese plate or toffee fudge.

Heck, why end there? Like Sherry, Tawny Port works remarkably well incorporated right into a meal. A little splash is the secret ingredient in sauces to kick up the complexity, especially if mushrooms are involved.

Taylor Fladgate is one of the oldest family-owned Port houses and have been producing Port since 1692. They still age their fortified wines in lodges along the Atlantic coast in Oporto, Portugal.

And as the name dutifully states on the bottle, their 10 Year Old Tawny Port is a delectable blend of Tawnies that average a decade of aging in 630-litre oak casks. The long, wood-
aided maturation is key to Tawny Port’s unique style, imparting its namesake colouration and sultry yet smooth disposition.

It also influences the complex array of aromas, with a cornucopia of walnut skin, dried fig, and rum cake dancing around the nose. The bouquet is complemented by flavours of chocolate-covered cherries, caramel and candied orange peel, and punctuated by a cashmere-soft, sweet finish. It’s a soul-warming libation that will linger well into the night.

Kenji and James are BC-based wine writers, educators and winemakers. Their latest book, Had a Glass: Top 100 Wines for 2010 Under $20, $25 and $30 (Whitecap Books; $19.95), is now available from bookstores and online retailers across Canada.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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