The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of tawny port. Whether it is with traditional holiday desserts, with some cheese, or on its own, port is the perfect companion.
Tawny port is a sweet or medium-dry dessert wine made from red grapes, fortified with grape neutral spirit (brandy) and aged in wood casks. Prolonged wood aging is the key ingredient that differentiates tawny port from bottle-aged ports such as LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) and Vintage Port. It is vital to start out with excellent grapes in order to withstand the extended wood-aging, maintaining fruit flavors and supple structure. As a tawny port oxidizes in cask, the color of the wine slowly evolves from a purplish-ruby color to a lighter topaz-amber-brown. Tawny Port is originally from Portugal but today tawny port is made in the USA, Australia, and other countries.
Wolf Blass Winery, one of Australia’s foremost wineries, was recently named International Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London. This is the third time Wolf Blass has won this highly acclaimed award, the first being 1992, repeating in 2002. This reflects their commitment to wine quality which is highly regarded.
Wolf Blass Red Label is their entry level brand for every day drinking. Their tawny port is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvedre with the objective to maintain and ensure a “house” consistency with each release.
The Wolf Blass Tawny Port is partially-aged in large oak barrels giving it an oak character, mellowed flavors, and a burnished amber color. The port has a maple-hinted raisin nose. The mouth feel is full and rich with nicely balanced sweetness. The alcohol level is 17.5% which contributes to the smooth balance.
Enjoy this port with your favorite holiday dessert and remember to leave a glass for Santa Claus. Until next time, more wine please.