Place of origin: Paso Robles AVA, California, USA
Style: Fortified dessert wine.
Purchased for $10/375 ml (Trader Joe’s)
Appearance: Dark purple with a slight brownish tinge.
Nose: Raisins, black currant jelly, plum, blueberry.
Palate: Sweet and fruity. Blueberry jam, black cherry, bit of white pepper. Fades into a slight burn.
Finish: Raisiny and warming.
Mixed: Yes, sometimes I mix my port, even when it’s not really Port. Made for a pretty bad Princeton cocktail, but that might have been down to the cheap gin I used. Did well with a squirt of lemon juice.
Parting words: I purchased this bottle many years ago and planned to open it in 2018, but I jumped the gun a bit, as you can see. I’m glad I did.
True Port, of course, has to come from Portugul, but this California version does a good job of being in the style but retaining its varietal characteristics. It has the toasty heat of a California Zin but has enough elegance and sweetness to pair well with dark chocolate or as a dessert in itself. The price is hard to beat too. Evenus 2003 Zin Port is recommended.