If you want a special treat to go along with Halloween candy, port is a great choice. This sweet, fortified wine can be made anywhere, but if it’s called Porto, it must come from Portugal. While vintage Porto can be pricey, there are delicious less expensive wines including young ruby and tawny styles. Rubies are fresh, fruity and deep red while tawnies, named after their color, tend to be softer, more delicate and have a distinctive nutty flavor. Among the great thing about Portos is that they are a terrific pairing with cheese, particularly Stilton and aged cheddar, as well as desserts. The following are two examples from well-respected Porto houses.
Dow’s Fine Tawny Porto, Portugal
Bought • Total Wine, 90 Brentwood Promenade Court, in October for $12.49
Description • This translucent reddish-brown Porto was aged in small oak casks for three years. The barrel aging produces a smoother and lighter wine than a ruby style of Porto. This tawny tastes of yummy caramel and almonds along with notes of cocoa and sweet spice. Because of these flavors, the wine is a good match with chocolate, particularly if it’s combined with almonds, peanuts, nougat and/or caramel.
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto, Portugal
Bought • Total Wine, 90 Brentwood Promenade Court, in October for $13.99
Description • When Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto was introduced in 1969, it created a new category of ruby ports that were aged longer, in this case five years. The result is a delicious, well-balanced wine that’s sweet, but not cloying. A vibrant garnet red in color, this is a rich, full-bodied dessert wine that tastes of concentrated cherries and other red fruits. It would go well with chocolate as well as red fruit-flavored candies.