Saturday, December 31, 2005
Port wine is a holiday tradition.
The basics of Port are familiar to many readers: Fortified wine from Portugal, mostly red and always sweet, and a great libation after dinner, with cheese, or accompanied by a good cigar.
If left to my own devices, I'd probably drink a glass with scrambled eggs for breakfast.
For the night before New Year's Eve, international jetsetting pilot and Knobs resident Tim Eads put together a casual but highly satisfying Port tasting that was held in Prost!, which is what we'll be calling the as yet unfinished conference and special functions wing of NABC.
There have been sporadic efforts in the past to gather together local Port lovers for such an event during the holiday season. Last evening's was a BYOB affair, with those in attendance also bringing small nibbles.
Next year, we'd like to stage a tasting similar to the fondly remembered time back in 2000 (or 2001?) when we priced and purchased a full range of Ports, then assessed a per-person charge.
In any event, we'll have more flexibility for hosting the Port tasting in 2006 owing to the ready availability of Prost!, which might even be finished (?) by this time next year.
Briefly googling, we find:
Into Wine: Enjoying Port
The Vintage Port Site (operated by the Symington Family Port Companies)
Prior to my only visit to Portugal in 2000, the Danish journalist Kim Wiesener, a longtime friend, recommended Richard Mayson's "Port and the Douro" as the finest overview of all things Port. Indeed, it is excellent, and if you're interested in Port, it's a must-have.
There's a new edition available, and I'm sure that Randy Smith at Destinations Booksellers would be able to track it down for those interested.
Here's a capsule description:
Mayson recounts the history of this great fortified wine up to the present day, including an assessment of major vintages back to 1896. He examines the physical condition of the region, grape varieties and vineyards with an appraisal of each of the main quintas, providing a directory of individual producers and shippers.