Monday, November 21, 2011

Swing Oiler Port and Cigar Night

Port and Cigars

I belong to a group of golfers affectionately known as the Swing Oilers.  On roughly a semi-annual basis we get together to enjoy a night of Port and cigars.  Last week was the latest incarnation of our event.  Our evening together featured a flight of three vintage ports, and one Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port.

I always try to make our Port and cigar night interesting and informative.  My tactic for this event was to do a blind tasting – a test to see how well we would fare at distinguishing a couple of older vintages from a younger vintage and an LBV.  The bottles ranged in price from roughly $40 for the LBV to $80 for the 1985 vintages.

Here are the crowd sourced comments from our 7 tasters:

Bottle A:  1997 Smith Woodhouse

Viscous, deep ruby color, sweet, prunes, very smooth, bold flavor, sweet by comparison to the flight

Bottle B:  1985 Porto Kopke

Light color, mature with a bit of pleasant must, bold flavor, smoky and similar to a Tawny, not as smooth as A, strong tawny nose, bright fruit flavor

Bottle C:  2005 Ramos Pinto LBV

Nice ruby color, enjoyable dry finish, rich and full bodied, smooth and subtle flavors, nice finish, subdued nose, super smooth, dark subdued fruit flavors

Bottle D:  1985 Ferreira

Rich and best body, light but intense flavor, fruity, smooth, medium dark color, intense brandy nose, layered fruit flavors

In addition to the comments, each taster was asked to judge whether the port was one of two “elder” ports, a younger vintage, or an LBV.  Here the number of correct guesses for each of the bottles:

  • Bottle A: 1997 Smith Woodhouse - 2
  • Bottle B: 1985 Porto Kopke - 2
  • Bottle C: 2005 Ramos Pinto LBV - 2
  • Bottle D: 1985 Ferreira – 5

It looks like we will need to practice our skills of correctly identifying Port.  Additional practice is clearly in order.  I doubt I will hear any dissenting voices.  The evening was a great success, and all the Ports were quite enjoyable.  The Saint Louis Rey Series G was also a big hit.

I will be back with more food pairing soon.

in vino veritas, buen provecho.


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