PORT and SHERRY
Ports and Sherry have to be the most under-priced drinks in the world. When you consider the long ageing and amazing flavours, the prices makes little sense. Especially compared to the current asking for a 10-year-old Scotch.
Many avoid Port and Sherry because they are unsure of when to drink them. Experts will confuse you with no end of critical time and food pairings, but I say get some – and the moment will come to you. For Sherry, it’s usually before, and Port being the sweeter drink, it’s always after. Except for the white variety. As my Sherry recommendations are on the dry side, I like them refrigerated. Ditto with white Port.
The main characteristic of both drinks is their instantly pleasing, charming personality. The instant life-is-good feeling. Just what everyone wants over the Holidays. And all winter long.
Former Mr Inniskillin, Donald Ziraldo, is now into Port with a property called Senhora do Convento, and the LCBO has just released two of his wines. While the labels are quite contemporary the wines are classic examples – a fruity, bold Ruby, and a mellow, charming Tawny. Congrats Don. Buy both and make Don’s Christmas – and your own. Taylor’s First Estate is also a delish Ruby, while fans of the more serious style should look to Graham’s LBV. For a truly charming and seductive experience, splurge on the Tawny from Quinta do Noval.
Fonseca’s white Port is smooth, and sweet. But it also has a refreshing bite. A super pleasant aperitif – sure to produce an instant life-is-good feeling. Add a dollop to your glass of Sparkling for a little extra oomph!
SENHORA do CONVENTO Ruby Port, Portugal 398230 $16.95
SENHORA do CONVENTO Tawny Port, Portugal 398248 $16.95
TAYLOR FLADGATE ‘First Estate’ Port, Portugal 309401 $16.55
GRAHAM’S 2008 Late Bottled Vintage, Portugal 191239 $16.95
QUINTA do NOVAL 10-year-old Tawny Port, Portugal 954503 Vintages $34.95
FONSECA White Port 276816 $16.95
The tangy, green olive and/or oxidized character of Sherry can be ‘too much’ for some, but that’s where Alvear Medium-Dry comes in. It’s non-challenging, easy-listening Sherry that delivers a nice hit of warmth and nuttiness without excess. Much more dry than sweet, so it’s also refreshing – especially when chilled. Put a bottle in your fridge for Holiday drop-ins, aperitifs with tapas, and little nips.
FYI: Alvear is not from Jerez, Spain’s traditional Sherry region, hence the bargain price.
Lustau’s Don Nuno is a dry Oloroso that’s been aged for decades, so it delivers very concentrated, nutty and other flavours. Seriously great drink, from Sherry’s most celebrated producer. I cannot believe the ridiculously low price.
ALVEAR Medium Dry, Montillas-Moriles, Spain 112789 $12.45
LUSTAU Oloroso Reserva ‘Don Nuno’, Jerez, Spain 375105 $14.85