“You can treat rum like that,” Jared observed, watching the ungainly progress of the enormous barrel through the obstructions of the warehouse, “but not port. I always fetch that up myself, along with the bottled wines. In fact, I was just setting off to see a new shipment of Belle Rouge port. Would you perhaps be interested in accompanying me?”
Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 6 – Making Waves)
Confused yet? I know what you’re thinking: “The title says whisky, but the excerpt and the photo say port…am I missing something?”
Let me explain where I’m going here.
The Weekly Whisky Write-up was something I had going for awhile many months ago on my OK Facebook page. But after several weeks, the whisky budget was out of control and had to be reined in. Things petered out even more over the summer.
But now that winter is almost here again — there’s nothing better than a book, a dram and a fire in the woodstove, is there? — I think it’s time to resurrect the WWW, if with a slightly more intermittent-sounding title. I hope to start a real boozy dialogue. Whisky, especially the single malts, can be expensive, so it behooves us all to hear a few different opinions before spending all that cash.
I’ll be expanding on my short posts from the past, and moving them over here to The Big Page…but last week, on a whim, I picked up a bottle of Fonseca Terra Prima Reserve Port for my Englishman, and I’ve decided I have to tell you all about it now.
RIGHT NOW, to give those of you who want to try it time to pick up a bottle before the holidays. It’s affordable, but worthy of your most special guests. Serve it after dinner on its own, or with a plate of cheese or chocolate truffles.
It would also make a fabulous hostess gift for someone who’s cooking one of this season’s big meals. Those cooks deserve a special treat to enjoy after everyone has gone home.
I’m not usually a big fan of Port. Cloyingly sweet booze of any kind really has no place on my palate, but when My Englishman sighed appreciatively upon his first sip after dinner, I asked to try it.
Then I asked him to pour me a glass.
Terra Firma is the first port to be produced entirely from certified organically grown grapes. Added sulphites prevent the bottles from being labeled as “Organic” here in North America, but it is considered to be an organic product in Europe.
While the officials argue over the label, let’s you and me get back to what’s inside the bottle, ’cause it’s worth talking about.
The tasting notes according to the Fonseca website:
A wonderfully rich, concentrated Port with great flavour and texture. It has an opulent black fruit nose which is followed through on the palate showing layers of intense berry, plum and cherry fruit flavours supported by firm, but well integrated tannins. This is a deliciously textured Port wine, which is velvety, smooth, succulent and plump.
My own tasting notes agree:
For one, while it is sweet, it’s not overpoweringly so. It’s bold and fruity, with a lingering, satisfying depth. This is a rich, smooth port that rivals competitors at twice the price.
At an SRP of $22 in the US, I highly recommend picking up a couple of bottles, one for yourself and one as a holiday gift for a very deserving friend. (Here in BC, I paid $26.99, which is still pretty good, especially by Canadian liquor store price standards.)
Have you tried the Terra Firma? What did you think? Or perhaps you have another favourite port you’d like to share…tell us in the comments please!