Drink Port in the Summer? and PortWineClick!

Port is not just for the fireside! Try a deeply fruity reserve port in the summertime

Summer Ports and PortWineClick!
My son, Peter, kids me about all the Ports I highlight on my blog. Living in France, Port is not in his day to day regimen. So of course, he kids me about renaming my blog because I’m neglecting French wines. I, on the other hand, love all sorts of sweet wines and ever since my first brief visit to Porto, I have had a fascination with Port. My absolute favorites are Tawny Ports, but I enjoy them all and I always say “yes” when samples are available.

This is my “Port Family Tree” cheat sheet!

Port Family Tree
When I’m offered samples of Port, I always do a little research to see where they fit on the Port “family tree”. Port offers a variety of styles and prices, all based on a single source, a deeply fruity fortified red wine made in the Douro region of Portugal. There are two main branches on the Port tree: Ruby and Tawny. They refer to the way the wines are aged. Ruby ports spend a relatively short period in large oak casks before bottling. Tawny Ports are aged in old, neutral barrels for a very long time, sometimes decades.

Our wines today are special reserve (ruby) Ports from W&J Graham’s. The very best of the best Ports become vintage Ports. So particular, they aren’t even produced every year. Reserve Ports are up in the ruby heirarchy, somewhere above basic ruby port. W&J Graham’s uses a special historic designation for their top ruby Ports, Six Grapes.

Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Porto

Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto is a cut above typical Ruby Port.

W&J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto (sample $24 SRP or online here)
Eye: Clear, deep ruby with a narrow ruby edge. Legs with deeply marked color.
Nose: Clean, deep dark black fruit, raisins and ripe figs with a nice earthy undercurrent of your grandmother’s basement (a good place full of old treasures, not scary!)
Mouth: Sweet, deeply ripe dark fruit, blueberry pie, fig newtons, medium+ acidity and surprisingly medium+ ripe tannins. Deliciously sweet, ripe and very satisfying all by itself.

W&J Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Porto "Special River Quintas Edition"

W&J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto “Special River Quintas Edition” is just a bit richer, deeper and more luscious than it’s Six Grapes sibling

W&J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto “Special River Quintas Edition” (sample $42 SRP or online here)
The Special River is everything the Six Grapes is, but a notch richer, deeper, more luscious. This would be a great bottle to open with guests or on a special occasion, like a Friday night after a tough week!

After Dinner Pairings for Six Grapes Ports
My personal preference with Port is to enjoy it all by itself, or perhaps with a bit of nuts or cheese. Ruby ports also pair well with fruit. Blue cheese is a classic Port pairing, though I find mild blue cheeses best. We’re getting fresh cherries and a few figs in Minnesota (not native) right now, and they both proved to be nice with the deep fruit flavors. I generally stay away from dessert with Port because to me it seems like sweet + sweet and it can be just a bit much. You might have a different opinion, if it seems like a great combination to you, it is!

Disclosure: I received these wines as samples. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Here are a couple of favorite Port posts:

My summertime studio out on the deck, complete with my sidekick, Otto of the North.

6 Responses to “Drink Port in the Summer? and PortWineClick!”
  1. Lynn says:

    Very cool Port Wine Tree! Way back, Six Grapes was one of the first I tasted and it set me off on a Port journey. Your posting this is not a coincidence, it’s a primer. I’m heading to Graham’s in September.

  2. Port is right any day or night!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Wine Click recommends several Ports for summer […]

  2. […] to the fire and enjoy! If Tawny Port, or Port in general is new to you, here’s a link to a primer on Port styles and some recommended pairings. Here are a couple links to our visits to Porto and […]

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