Tawny Port and Chocolate Pairing
At this time of year when considering and reviewing our wine tasting notes it is natural to turn to Christmas thoughts. We have spotted a delicious recipe from ‘The Hairy Bikers’ http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/506004/hairy-bikers-chocolate-yule-log for a chocolate Yule-tide log. Our tasting notes show the chocolate goes divinely with a tawny port. A delicious port and chocolate pairing indeed!
Colheita port is a real treat and a magnificent accompaniment to the scrumptious yule tide log. A Colheita is a port made from a single harvest which has been aged for a minimum of 7 years and has even been known to go up to 50 years. The Symington Family of Oporto, Portugal issued a Colheita Jubilee port in 2012 to celebrate the Jubliee of Queen Elizabeth II.
One of the interesting characteristics of a Colheita port is the fact that the producer of the port decides when to bottle and the port should be consumed within a year or so of the bottling. One of the distinguishing features of a Colheita is the label as it states both the year of the vintage and the bottling date. Colheita ports are very rare and there are some wonderful vintage tawny ports such as Quinta do Noval (40 years old) or a Taylors (60 years) old or perhaps some of those slighter younger 20 year olds would be tempting.
With a chocolate based dessert; the accompaniment needs to support the acid spectrum, partly because the dessert is very, very sweet. In the yule log there is that bitter finish provided by the rich chocolate and our tasting notes record the Colheita or vintage tawny port will bring the acid balance into the match with the plumy-cocoa-mocha flavours offering up a sense of warmth on the palate. The flavours evolve into a sweet bitterness which when combined with the chocolate carries its own flavour profile for that bit longer.
Finally, when the dessert is long gone, it is possible to continue the indulgence with an extra glass! Well, it is Christmas after all.
Editor’s Note: We managed to locate a 1952 Niepoort Colheita on the website in case anyone is looking for the exceptional.