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Tag Archives: Recreation

Wanted: Tawny Port

Background
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.

Albariño Videos

I found a few videos on the web today all about Albarino, a grape we featured recently with a Virtual Tasting. Sponsored by Rias Baixas and hosted by Doug Frost, they do a nice job telling people more about this great region and grape. Here’s one of the videos, with […]

Our Visit to DO Montsant and the Spanish Bodega – Laurona

Approximately a year and half ago, Ryan and I made a quick jaunt down to the Priorat to visit Bodegas Ficariavins before heading north to attend Alimentaria in Barcelona. Our trip was short, lasting only two days, but the crash course in Priorat and Montsant wines gave me the necessary foundation I needed before our second visit last week with Tim from Winecast.