Port and Chocolate Reviews
Valentine's Day is all about chocolate. The perfect wine that goes with chocolate is port! Port is a fortified (alcohol added) wine that hails from Portugal. It is dense, rich in flavors, relatively high in alcohol, and beautiful with chocolate. I adore port and I also adore chocolate. This seemed the perfect excuse for a tasting!
We tasted all the ports first on their own, and then with a variety of the chocolates on hand. Because we were doing this for the "average wine consumer" we did NOT taste any vintage ports here. The aim was to try ports that could be typically found at even the smallest liquor store.
Otima 10 Year Tawny - $23.99
A tawny port is a sweet port, and 10 year means that the wine is made from various selections that average 10 years old. This isn't a "vintage" - it is a blend. Otima is my daily house favorite because it's cheap (compared with vintage ports), sweet and relatively tasty. It has flavors of caramel, anice / licorice, fennel and raisin. At least one of our tasters did not like it because of the sweetness.
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny - $29.99
Redder in color, smooth with a less tutti-fruity sweetness, less cloying. More of a caramel flavor. One of our light wine drinkers named this as her favorite.
Sandeman 1790 Founder's Reserve - $19.99
If a port is not labelled as a tawny, vintage or LBV, it's typically a ruby port. These are the "less sweet" ports when compared with tawnies. This was tart, not sweet, with an acidic fruit flavor, more complex. It was the favorite of one of our drinkers who tends to like good wines.
Ramos Pinto Collector - $16.99
Another ruby with a a cherry pucker flavor, a nice balance. This one was chosen as a favorite by a woman who loves French wines.
Fonseca Bin 27 - $17.99
This had the most mixed feelings. The Ramos lover loved this one even more. The Sandeman lover hated this one and felt it tasted like bad cherry cough syrup. It was sweet-tart with an aftertaste of light wood.
Benjamin Port - $13.99
This is an Australian "sticky" tawny, not a real port. This even though the label says PORT on it in big red letters :) It is caramel, sweet, candy like. A "Harvey's Bristol Cream" style said one drinker.
Presidential Port 20 year tawny - $12.99
We got this primarily for the cool ship's decanter bottle, to take on a cruise with us. I do love the bottle :) The port was smooth but on the tart side.
Trentadue chocolate Amore - $26.99
OK this isn't a port at all, it's a merlot which has been fortified and had chocolate flavoring added to it. Some felt it was like raspberry merlot with bad chocolate mixed in - but one of us did love it.
I think the main thing we learned from this tasting is that port flavors are VERY subjective and that each of us had a specific favorite. A port that one person loved, another person probably disliked greatly. So a lot of port selection comes down to not what some expert "tells you to drink" but what you personally happen to prefer!!
So how do you choose? My vote is that you do your own port tasting! Get a few bottles of different varieties, get some chocolate, and have fun! Valentine's Day is of course perfect for this activity, but any day will do. Enjoy!
Photos from the Port and Wine Chocolate Tasting
Port Wine Information
Pink Wine Review for Valentine's Day
Wine Events and Reviews
All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.