Medium tawny colour; plumy, raisin, fig & nutty aromas; sweet, rich dried fruit and nutty flavours, full- bodied with a long finish.
Why it works:
A classic yet multi-layered food and wine match based on many interesting contrasts and complements of flavours; bitterness of chocolate contrasts with sweetness of Port while the warm alcohol and high acidity in the wine help balance sweetness and richness of the chocolate. The dried fruit character and caramel flavours of the Port only add to the contrasts in flavours with rich chocolate and hazelnuts.
Lucie Trépanier on this pairing:
Sean Moher: So the next one I see here is the Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port.
Lucie Trépanier: Yes.
Sean Moher: Why don’t you tell us a little bit of that port and the truffle that you paired it with?
Lucie Trépanier: Well, I’m a big fan of Tawny ports in general. I think that they are an overall very balanced type of fortified wine. And so this particular port is only medium-bodied, it’s actually quite light with a little bit of resinated fruits, fig, but most of all, I think the character that shines through, especially on the palate, is distinct nuttiness, more specifically it tastes of hazelnuts. So in combination with a really nice acidity and good alcohol level from the fortification, this Tawny port was just the brilliant pairing for a hazelnut truffle, because both products have a very nutty taste to them.
It was pairing based on complementing the flavors of both the truffle and the wine.
Sean Moher: Yes port, something I often would think of with chocolate.
Lucie Trépanier: Yes, it is a classic pairing. Ruby ports, Late-Bottled Vintage or Vintage ports are typically paired with a darker chocolate, something with the distinct bitterness, whereas Tawny ports are a little bit more successful with lighter chocolates; Ganache, milk chocolates and this hazelnut chocolate, which is not as bitter.
It’s just simply because Tawny ports don’t have a fruity red concentrated berry aroma; they are more nutty. And so this fruitiness found in vintage ports tends to tone down the bitterness of a very dark chocolate, whereas the Tawny port, which doesn’t have this right fruit flavor, typically balances much better with the lighter style chocolate.
Sean Moher: Interesting! I was surprised the first time I opened a Late-Bottled Vintage port, I mean it wasn’t very old. So it was purple, I would have mistaken it for a red table wine.
Lucie Trépanier: Absolutely, that’s a big difference in those two style ports. The Late- Bottled Vintage and Ruby ports are ready to drink when you purchase them, but they are indeed more of a purple deep ruby color because they haven’t been aging as long as Tawny ports. Tawnys are usually aged for an average of 10 years, if you left a 10 year old Tawny. A 20 year old Tawny is aged 10 more years, so 20 total average and so on and so on.
So you’ve got wines with a lot more notes that are considered oxidative, meaning that they are specifically derived from aging and big barrels with some oxygen contact.
Sean Moher: We’re going to the next one. Sorry, I guess I didn’t give the LCBO number for that one. It’s 206508 for the Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port. That particular one is $27.95 from Portugal. Then we’ve got the Lakeview Cellars’ Vidal Icewine.
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