I did it! I finished the second edition of Richard Mayson’s book, “Port and the Douro”, which has proven to be a comprehensive, clearly written reference book on one of my favorite fortified wines: port! When I originally proposed this book, I heard several readers share their interest in reading […]
How many times have you heard yourself, or someone you know, say “Jeez, I’ve tried a couple of ports, but I’ve just never enjoyed them. They’re always so sweet and syrupy and just too much to enjoy”? If you were at dinner with us last night, you would have heard […]
Flavor Profile Unlike entry-level port wines, vintage port wines cannot be summed up in a few adjectives. These are wines that can drank anywhere from a few months to over a century in bottle. Over a century! What else can you possibly consume that has not been sealed in an […]
Editor’s Note: Although our fly by night contributing writer, Adrienne Smith, has been busy doing what she does best, changing hats, we’ve managed to get her fleeting and rather romantic impressions of her recent visit to Porto. Porto, located just across the Douro River from Vila Nova de Gaia, is […]
On a chilly and gray January afternoon in 2003, Ryan and I arrived into the historic Oporto train station bubbling with anticipation and excitement. Our limbs rather sore from sitting for hours in the same position, we begrudgingly put our large backpacks onto our shoulders, and like to old creaky […]
Tawny port wine is made from red grapes aged in wood, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation, for longer than a ruby port wine. As a result, the wine loses its brilliant ruby color, becoming a dark amber or a tawny hue with a characteristic “nutty” flavor imparted by the wood. Finally, through a system of fractional blending with various older port wines to match the house style, the resulting tawny wine is elegant and soft, showing delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit.
Although there are several various kinds of tawny port wine, the two main types are: a young tawny that lacks any indication of age, and an older tawny labeled with a specific age.
Basic NV Tawny Port
Although the term “tawny’ refers to a wine that has been aged in wood for longer than ruby port wine, the majority of young tawnies are made from a blend of both red and white grapes, aged for approximately the same time as a ruby port wine. Come summer, several bulk tawnies are shipped up river to the Douro valley in cement baloes where they literally stew from the ambient heat, referred to as the Douro Bake. The Douro Bake is a traditional expression used to explain a particular characteristic imparted to Port when aged in a hot, arid climate, as opposed to the milder, cooler temperatures in Vila Nova de Gaia. Consequently, the resulting wines mature rapidly, losing their bright red color, and display a slightly brown tinge around the rim. On the palate, although lacking in the powerful fruit characteristics normally associated with a young ruby port wine, tawnies tend to be softer, more subtle, and many times, slightly more approachable.
Every blogger loves comments, as infrequent as they may be at times. Without them, our job becomes relatively meaningless, as if we get up in the morning to write only for ourselves. Comments give us perspective, direction and a gauge to understand if and where our stories are hitting most […]
As we have done with both Sherry and Portuguese table wine, our goal is to provide you with a solid understanding as to what Port wine is throughout the month of November. Over the next two weeks, we will be providing you port wine profiles of each style with the […]
Early this year, while teaching children full time, I made a brazen attempt at committing to reading a half-dozen Iberian wine books by the end of the summer. And as much as my heart was in the right place, I was hardly successful. In hind site, our recent Sherry adventure […]
Yesterday, Ryan and I took a leisurely walk through our little town of Terrassa. As the light casted a golden tone across the plaza, children rambunctiously played while donned in bulky sweaters to keep the chill far from their little bodies. Billowy steam wafted from hot coffees and teas scattered […]