Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Word on Port

For that of you who read our laudations of alcohol in certain of its multifarious manifestations, you may wonder why we neglect all things spawned from grapes. To put it simply: It’s too damn complicated and too much has been said about it already.


I have to talk a little bit about Port. I have to tell you, I feel guilty doing it. We’re strictly about cocktails here at the Joy of Drinking. Our offices are filled with swizzle sticks and julep strainers, not merlots and shirazes. I’ll take a glass of scotch over a glass of wine, thank you, and I’ll write about it to boot... See? There I go again, off on another anti-wine rant. It’s not that I don’t like the stuff, it’s just that I’m ignorant, so I keep my mouth shut.


How do I dare talk about Port? Well... How can I justify it? Hmm, what is Port, exactly? Wine fortified with brandy, eh? That’s sort of a mixed drink. In fact, that’s definitely a mixed drink. PERFECT.

Moving right along: Quinta de la Rosa’s “Lote No. 601.” This Ruby Port should run you about 22-25 bucks, and it’s just about worth it. It’s head and shoulders above your average Graham’s Six Grapes, that’s for certain. I recommend this Port, with that caveat that it’s easily accessible, and you can definitely get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

It’s flavors are very, very nice. It’s a perfect drink if you have a sweet tooth, which I have. It’s sweet, but not store-bought-apple-pie-warmed-with-ice-cream-sweet. It’s not a restaurant cocktail, is what I’m saying; it won’t make you cringe. It’s got such a depth to its sweetness that you’ll find yourself savoring it, trying to unpack its flavor. There’s a hint of toffee there, which reminds me of my all time favorite, a Tawny by the name of Old Codger Port (from Australia! I’ll be damned, mate).

I highly suggest, Meredith (assuming you’re still reading this. If not, our readership has dropped to nil), that you invest in a nice bottle of Port. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. If you can find Quinta de la Rosa, grab it. You can tell your friends you paid three times what you did for it, and they’ll probably believe you. It’s also an excellent introduction into the world of Port.

(I apologize for the lack of moodily lit photos.)

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