I love port. Actually, I love really good port, and like any wine, its not all created equal. One of the larger names, Fonseca puts out many types of strong, powerfull and rich port, like ruby, tawny and diverse vintages. We purchased a 2005 Guimaraens Vintage upon recommondation from the sales clerk and as much as Paolo liked, for me it just wasnt working. Dark ruby red with a thickness that stuck to the glass, maybe it was too young, but it wasnt what I was looking for in an after dinner drink. Oak wood, dark cherry, herby- maybe hints of rosemary or mint and black pepper, but the scent that overpowered everything was the alcohol (a whopping 20.5%). The cherry smell continued onto the palate, as did the alcohol, but most of all the taste seemed medicinal. You could tell it was still young, but I think with time it could be an interesting wine. We tried it with 70% dark chocolate- the perfect pair- and I was reminded of those little alcohol filled chocolates that people give you during the holidays or for valentines day. Overall. I'm probably making this port to be worse than it is- it's not bad, just needs time.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We can't always drink wine. As much as we like it, there comes a point in time when a nice refreshing beer is needed. For occasions like this we love our artiginal beer. M'Anis is one of the guys selling like crazy in the Veneto area. This wonderfully thick beer from Montebelluna comes in a few different styles and tastes; the red double malt, the amber double malt and the light Pilsner. We opted for the Pilsner to be paired with a plate of salumi and veggies. The color was a golden amber, not completely transparent or with too much foam. A pleasantly fruity bouquet consisted of peach, honeydew melon, wet straw, yeast and a touch of honey. The taste was similar, fruity and persistant, refreshing and round. A nice autumn beer great for a variety of food.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
From the southwest of France, near Avignon, comes the great red wine of the Rhone Valley, the Chateauneuf-du-pape. Translated as 'the new castle for the pope' these wines have a long history in France and with the catholic church. Produced in both a white and red version, the more famous red is typically a blend of 15 local grapes with the grenache as their leader. In their younger years the wine can be a bit tough and gritty but with age they develop beautifully, as with the wine we tried by Chateau Fortia. As a 2005 the color was a transparent ruby red and the consistency was apparent by the legs on the glass. At first smell and taste, it was a bit overpowering, but after a half hour of decantation it was much better. The biting alcohol calmed, and the wine became less pungent and more equilibrated. The bouquet was intense and full of diverse aromas. There was strawberry, red apple, blackberry, raisins; white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, juniper berry, as well as many 'third degree' smells from the aging process like white chocolate and leather. On the tongue, as I stated before, the alcohol at first was overbearing. Tannic, smooth fresh and mineral, with a medium amount of saltiness. We paired it with a cheese plate showcasing both young and aged styles.