- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Taylor Fladgate, 10 Year Old Tawny Port, $30

With winter weather finally here, it’s time to look for wines that can warm both body and soul. None will do that better than a good aged tawny port.

Blends of wines from several vintages, tawny ports taste nutty and sweet. They seem so inviting as to be almost cozy.

Ports are fortified wines. The addition of high-alcohol grape spirit during fermentation stops the process, resulting in a naturally sweet wine with a heady character. The wines then age — sometimes in bottle, but in the case of tawny ports, in cask.

A 10-year tawny port like this one is not literally that old because the designation refers to the wine’s flavor. The winemaker has sampled various blends of different vintages to arrive at one that tastes about 10 years old.

Because it’s fortified, you won’t want to drink more than a glass or two of a wine like this. Happily, tawny ports don’t spoil once opened. So you can have another glass whenever you want — all winter long.

This wine tastes of walnuts, brown sugar, toffee and spice, with a bright berry flavor holding everything together. It will make a delicious aperitif before dinner as well as a scrumptious close to a meal. Serve it then with nuts and cheeses, especially blues, as ports are one of the few wines that pair successfully with such pungent fare.

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