When I posted the guide to pairing wine with Halloween candy, I mentioned that I didn’t have any recommendations for after dinner or dessert wines because I hadn’t written about any here on MNN. I’m rectifying that today.
Last night, on the first really cold night of the season, I opened a bottle of Warre’s Otima Tawny 10 Year Port. I’m a novice when it comes to port wine, so I did a little research on The Kitchn to familiarize myself with the basics. Port is wine that has been fortified with brandy, and it can only come from the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. There are various styles of port, and it seems as if you’re just starting out with port, tawny port is a good place to begin.
Tawny port is aged in wood casks and is bottled after maturation. It must be aged for at least 6-7 years, and once it’s reached 10 years, the age of the port is designated on the bottle. If you see a bottle with no age, it has aged for less than 10 years. The longer it ages, the more complex its flavors are. Once opened, a 10-year-old bottle of tawny port should keep for about two weeks at room temperature, four weeks in the refrigerator.
The Warre’s Otima Tawny 10 Year Port is very pleasant to drink. It has a caramel-rose color and a sweet smell of brandy, honey, caramel, nuts, raisins and spice. (It reads like I just described a boozy power bar, doesn’t it? Fortunately, that’s not at all what it tastes like.) It’s smooth going down, slightly sweet and oh-so-warm. It was just what I needed on the eve of the first day of the season that I had to turn the space heater on in my office.
All of Warre’s ports are produced by the Symington family, and I’m told the family produces their ports in an “environmentally sustainable way.”
The Symington family has long been dedicated to the preservation of the Douro’s delicate ecosystem. The family is the largest vineyard owner in the Douro with 930 hectares. Approximately 160 hectares are 100% organic and the remainder is farmed under the “Sustainable Agriculture” system. The family will continue to farm by a mixture of both systems while progressively working towards 100% organic Port & Wine production.
Tawny port can also be used in cocktails like The Homecoming that might be perfect Thanksgiving.
- 1.5 oz aged rum
- 1 oz Warre’s Otima 10 Year Tawny Port
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 2 bar spoons pumpkin butter
- 1 maraschino cherry
In a mixing glass, add all ingredients, fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Hawthorne strain into a coup glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry on a toothpick.
This port has a suggested retail price of $26, and it is widely available throughout the United States.
Wine, beer and spirits disclaimer: I am not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I'll write about the product if it's something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.
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