Thursday, August 28, 2014

Winey Tasting Notes: A New Take On Port

The first few things that come to my Winey mind when I hear the word "port" (in the wine sense of the word, not the nautical sense) are: English manors, dark wood libraries and men in velvet coats sipping port. Unfortunately, these men are not the Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice type guys. (A MAJOR tragedy as far as I'm concerned.) They're a bit more portly - pun intended. And they have those really weird mustaches. And they are smoking cigars. So not Colin.

bottle of Otima 10 Year Tawny PortI have had Port wine in the past with no great reaction. I mean, it's okay if you're freezing cold and it's snowing outside and there is a blazing fire in the fireplace and you've already had dinner. But, like many other food and wine, Port is an acquired taste. A bit thick and sweet but also so very warming as it goes down.

Then along comes a Port wine that tries to redefine its taste. That is what the British company Warre's has done with its Otima 10 Year Tawny Port (bottled in 2013, 20%, Portugal). Warre's has made this Port a little lighter and not so in-your-face than regular Port wine in an effort to get rid of its stodgy reputation. (I love that word, stodgy, don't you?)

It just so happens that the Winey Son is a fan of Port wine, and it just so happened that he was recently home on leave before reporting to his first round of training after graduation from West Point. So when we found ourselves camped out in front of the TV for the 9 innings of a Cleveland Indians baseball game, we decided it was time to break out the Port.

Otima tells you that you can serve this chilled or at room temp. We tried chilled first.  The wine is a pretty amber color with a nose of dark toasted oak. It tastes of dark honey, oak and has some sweet orange overtones. It ends with a warmth in your throat and a yummy nutty flavor. The Winey Son liked it right away but it took me a little longer. That's because when the Port got to room temperature, we tried it again, and this time I liked it much better. The orange was more pronounced, and the oak was tempered to more of a lightly toasted wood. You can add a lemon or an orange slice to it, and I'd go with the orange slice. The citrus cuts through the typical Port thickness and is so good!!

This is a fun one to experiment with. Let's face it, most of us probably don't drink Port on a regular basis, so it's going to be something different right off the bat. The Otima website has an intriguing recipe for the Otima Perfect Serve, which involves fresh grapefruit and raspberries and sounds like a winner to me. Serve it with dessert. It would be amazing with berry pie.  Whatever you decide, it'll be a new take on an old sip!


I was given this wine for review purposes. The opinions, however, are all my own. 
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