In Praise of Port Wine


I am wrapping up a writing/recipe assignment that revolved around cooking with wine.  One of the dishes is a crispy duck breast served with a port, fig and shallot wine reduction sauce.  My love affair with port began my freshman year at Cornell.  Port was simply delicous, yet at the same time exotic and complex.  I’ve been hooked ever since: poaching pears, making pan sauces and ordering it for an after dinner drink in restaurants.

Port wine is a fortified wine from Portugal, specifically the Douro Valley.  It has inherent sweetness, gorgeous brillance in the glass and a flavor profile beyond compare.  The best and most reasonably priced cooking port is ruby port.  Drinking ports vary in style and price – I like them all.  My wallet enjoys LBV ports.  Late Bottle Vintage ports are made with a combination of grapes from different annual harvests.  If I were throwing a dinner party for sophisticated palates, I would certainly splurge on a vintage port and I would savor every sip.

Dow, Fonseca, Sandeman, Graham and Warre are all established producers of port wine.


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