Articles on Fortified Wine, Late Harvest Wine, & Dessert Wine

Wine Tasting Videos: Great Port Wines

In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz convene at one of San Francisco's finest restaurants, Incanto, to taste and discuss great port wines.

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Port Wine Truffle Sauce

I think Port is an underappreciated wine.  At least in my life, I’ve always restricted it to dessert wine, and not being a dessert person, the bottles I acquired tended to sit around in my wine cabinet to gather dust and “age”.  But, about a year ago, a friend (let’s call him John) at work called me over to his desk, pointed to an open bottle of port and a glass (fortunately he doesn’t operate heavy machinery) and asked me try his “…favorite $20 bottle of port, the best deal around”.  The wine tasted very nice, but what interested me more than the flavor, was the way he thought about Port.

Chateau D’Yquem: Greatest Wine in the World?

In the series on the 1855 Classification of the First Growths, I spoke exclusively about red wines.  In that same year, however, the sweet dessert wines from the Bordeaux communes of Barsac and Sauternes were also classified.  All of the dessert wines listed were rated as either premier cru (first growth) or second growth status.  That is, all but Yquem which was rated Premier Cru Superieur (First Great Growth), a higher rating even than any red wine achieved in their 1855 Classification.  Yquem is quite possibly the greatest wine made anywhere and has a history dating back four hundred years!  While every wine region has its stars, there is probably no other winery that so dominates the quality of a region and has such as a lofty reputation as Chateau Yquem.

What makes these wines so special is that they develop a rot called botrytis cinera also known as Noble Rot.  When certain grapes are attacked they get moldy which, in a wonderful twist of fate, causes the grapes to lose much of their moisture, concentrating the flavors.  The resulting grapes look like moldy shriveled raisins that produce a sweet nectar.

Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 Year Tawny Port - IntoWineTV Episode 94

Great Port Wines. Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 Year Tawny Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 Year Tawny Port - IntoWineTV Episode 90

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 Year Tawny Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

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Broadbent Auction Reserve Port - IntoWineTV Episode 85

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Broadbent Auction Reserve Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

Ferreira Ruby Port - IntoWineTV Episode 80

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Ruby Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

1995 Niepoort Colheita Port - IntoWineTV Episode 75

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the 1995 Niepoort Colheita Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

Porto, the Port Houses, & the Douro River: A Pictorial Tour of Portugal's Port Hub

Click on each image below to view a pictorial tour of Porto. Includes pictures of Porto from both sides of the Douro as well as many of the major port houses and attractions.

Spain's Alicante Wine Region: Where Classic Meets Modern

Alicante isn't Spain's largest or most famous wine region.  In fact, Alicante is fairly small, and it tends to be overshadowed by its better-known neighbors, Jumilla and Valencia.  Alicante has much to offer the wine lover, however, particularly Fondillón, made from monastrell grapes and unique to this DO.  Alicante's other wines, particularly its reds, have steadily worked their way up into the ranks of Spain's top-scorers, and the region's award-winning moscatels are also worth trying.

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