Earlier this month daughter Odile and I hosted a PORTfolio tasting at our Napa Valley home for 50+ Quinta do Tedo customers, the majority Californian who visited our estate this year. What a pleasure to taste our “bounty”, together with memories of their time at our property on the other side of the “pond”.
A Quinta do Tedo overview and presentation of each product (a total of 12!) kicked off the afternoon, and then an informal tasting began of our Portos, Douro DOC red wines and organic Olive Oil. Our direct sales link, Stephen Goldberg, from fine wine store Cellar Collections in Napa was there – perfect timing before the holidays!
Bite-size appetizers paired beautifully with the lineup, Portuguese inspired-cuisine with our indefatigable international touch. Squares of brioche dough bola stuffed with seasoned chicken topped with Spanish romesco sauce, French inspired pork rillette toasts garnished with apricot-cardamon compote and a raw fennel shaving, salt cod brandade napped with nutmeg-accented béchamel sauce, our Bistro Terrace signature flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and a sliver of candied orange peel from last winters’ abundant citrus crop in St Helena (where we live half the year) were among the spread. Porto and red wine just taste better in the company of food.
A perfect pairing for our Tawny Portos, was food blogger David Lebovitz’s shared recipe from famed baker Flo Barker who recently passed: Belgium pain d’amande - click here for almond cookie recipe! I easily doubled the cinnamon and added ground ginger to the master recipe. The easy-to-make dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, is pressed into a rectangular loaf pan, refrigerated, then very thinly sliced and baked. No rolling, and the resulting perfect-sized crunchy almond cookie is a marriage made in heaven for our Tawny Portos.
What are the main differences between our 6/8 Yr, 10 Yr and 20 Yr Tawny Portos? Remember that a Tawny’s year refers both to the average barrel age time, and to a “house” style consistently recreated via the blending bravura of winemaker Jorge Alves. The more time aged in 500 liter barrels, the more concentrated becomes the Tawny, together with subsequent “topping off” of more Porto to refill the barrel. The Tawny’s tannins soften with age, and the Porto’s color changes from a dark brick brown and thicker viscosity to an almost ethereal amber with stunning brightness, silken tannins and impressive concentration and length.
Check out the photos to demonstrate:
Signing out - would you like any of afore-mentioned recipes? Would you like to come to the tasting in 2018? Please serve all Tawnys chilled, and best to all for the upcoming holidays!