An Unexpected Surprise

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I snuck in a quick photoIMG_5333 on Monday night. We were with Fundraiser Friends[1] for dinner and when dessert was served, our host unexpectedly brought out a bottle of Dow’s Vintage Porto. From 1978. This was actually not my first time with vintage port. My first experience was somewhat of a letdown[2], so I was almost nervous about whether this one would be good or not. I was happily and pleasantly surprised at the delicious dessert I was fortunate enough to enjoy. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful Monday night. 

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               March 30, 2015
Wine:              1978 Dow’s Quinta Do Bomfim Vintage Oporto Review
This was smooth and thick, almost syrupy. Not too sweet, but sweet enough to know why ports are called dessert wines. It was a gorgeous ruby color. On the nose I sensed jam and figs and lots of black cherry. Husband got an orange finish. Smooth drinking, no bite whatsoever. Thoroughly enjoyable with our warm chocolate chip cookies and tiramisu[3]. If you can find a bottle, grab one! Cheers!

Wine Dossier
Oporto, Portuguese for port, is a fortified wine produced exclusively by grapes grown in Portugal’s Douro Valley. Ports are typically sweet red wines categorized as a dessert wine or digestif[4]. Legally, the United States has essentially made it a free for all and wines from anywhere in the world can be labeled as port.[5] In IMG_5356Europe, only real port from Portugal can bear the name.[6] Dow’s has been selling port since 1798 when its founder, Bruno da Silva, began exporting port from Portugal to London. “Quinta Do Bomfim” is the name of one of Dow’s three vineyards and translates to Farm of Bomfim.

Husband and I began drinking port several years ago when we discovered Cockburns[7] Tawny Port, a brand owned by Symington Family Estates, also the owner of Dow’s. Cockburns is also a nice port to try if you can’t find a Dow’s 1978 at the package store.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Remember them?
[2] We drank a 1977 Graham’s Vintage Porto about three months ago. It was good, but not great, especially given how excited we were to drink it. We think it aged too long and was not kept properly. C’est la vie.IMG_4573
[3] So decadent for a Monday. Oops.
[4] A digestif is drunk after a meal to help with digestion. We’ll get to more of these.
[5] #merica. Sigh.
[6] As it should be.
[7] Word to the wise, this is actually pronounced KOH-burnz, not Cock-burns. Don’t worry. I got you.