Welcome to the world of Fortified Wines! Most of us have either heard of Port or perhaps even had the opportunity to try it.
If it’s a true Port, it comes from Portugal, specifically the Douro region, and made with certain grapes, the most popular ones being Tinta Roriz (better known as Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cao and Tinta Barroca. All of them combine together to make the sweeter, higher alcohol wine that we have come to know as Port. It was originally created back in the eighteenth century by British Merchants, the aforementioned adding a grape brandy to create the sweetness, and the high alcohol so it could survive any long journey by ship, and not be spoiled upon arrival at its destination.
Today, it’s copied throughout the world, regions adding their own “spin” to create their own Port “styles”. And trust me, there are a lot of them! Even the true Ports have “categories” they fit into! It can be truly confusing and hard to separate them! Stay tuned for the next post, where I will help you differentiate them, and in so doing, hopefully pique your interest in trying one that may appeal!
For now, let me take you back to the Okanagan, where I visited in the first part of August. I love Therapy Vineyards for their quaintness, small plots of land like most in the Naramata Bench, and also for their clever bottle marketing. Wines like Freudian Sip, Pink Freud, and their Freudified, make you want to taste them, and then buy them! Freudified is made with a blend of 65% Syrah, and 35% Merlot; this “Port style” had the grapes fermenting together in stainless steel tanks, then after several years of ageing in a combination of both new and used oak, was bottled to create what you see to the left. Rich purple in colour, it has beautiful aromas of black cherry, cassis, leather and chocolate. Spice on the palate, makes it last a good long time on the finish! I intend to savour this one for a while, as it’s only available at the vineyard or online in cases of 12! Silly me….I only bought one!