The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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Page 97 of 148

PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG OTHER CATEGORIES Single quinta vintage port is made in undeclared years, but from fruit from a single estate—the very best estates. Less expensive and less complex than vintage ports and generally needing less aging to show their best. Colheita port is a hybrid of vintage and tawny: wines from a single vintage are aged in wood for a minimum of seven years, offering a range of colors and lavors. White port is classiieds into three levels, but even seco (dry) is sweet on the palate. Meio seco (medium dry) and doce are very sweet. Vintage character ports are blends of young wines— aged four to six years, maximum, then iltered and bottled. Crusted port is not iltered before bottling, and there is considerable sediment in each bottle. Must be decanted. Tips on Selling More Port TAWNY Aged in oak barrels and subjected to slow, controlled oxidation, which imparts the characteristic color and also a distinctly nutty–dried fruit–ig lavor. Named for the average age of the vintage-blended wines: 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-year. "Ten- and 20-year tawnies are our fastest-moving items," says Chris Adams. "They operate at a different price point and different style." Best-selling tawnies at Sherry-Lehmann: Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port Plums, toffee, spice and coffee on the nose are echoed on the palate. Medium-bodied and silky in the mouth. Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny Port Honey, nut, maple and citrus on the nose and in the mouth, with lively citrus and spice accents and a vanilla undernote in a soft tannic embrace. At the retail level, it's straightforward. Says Chris Adams: "Our success in selling it is in having educated sales people. We have them taste the wines. With new vintages there's always something to talk about and address. " In restaurants, it's trickier because once a bottle is opened, a good ten pours need to be sold in a few days or there is a loss. Plus, there is the perceived hassle of decanting. But Rupert Symington has some ideas: "I claim authorship of this. We call it 'vintage port for the weekend.' During the staff meeting, encourage servers when they're announcing specials to offer guests a chance to reserve a glass of this very special vintage port. It just works so well, you wouldn't believe it. They get through the bottle in two days. "In terms of tawnies, what we've done, continues Symington. "We " recommend a simple pairing of Grahams 20 Year Old and dessert. Offer a complimentary half-ounce pour with, say, the chocolate cake. Without exception the guest who gets the pour will share it, and more glasses will be sold. They wouldn't order it, but if it comes and they like it, they will order more. It's more effective than just listing the ports on the dessert menu. may 2013 / the tasting panel / 97

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