AFTER THE MEAL
Enjoy coffee with a 20 year old (or older) Tawny Port. On their own, 30 year old and more than 40 year old blended Ports offer intense moments when served slightly chilled in order to appreciate the full range of their bouquet. Colheita Ports, very enjoyable when drunk on their own, are also excellent when paired with the desserts suggested for Tawny Port, depending on its age. An older Vintage, once carefully decanted, is marvellous on its own.
BEFORE A MEAL
Toasted almonds, smoked salmon, prunes or dates, served as an aperitif to a meal, are perfect when accompanhied by a chilled White Port. Dry White Port is the key ingredient for a "Portonic", a fantastic long drink made with Port, tonic water, ice and a slice of lemon. If you choose to serve a paté, a 10 year old Tawny is recommended.
DURING A MEAL
White Port continues to be an excellent choice for a light meal based on salads or grilled fatty fish such as salmon. It is also an excellent wine to drink with rich, creamy soups. Should the appetizers include strong cheeses or patés or if dried fruits and walnuts are part of the dish, you may choose a chilled 10 year old Tawny. Roast meats and steak with rich sauces or well-seasoned with pepper and spices go beautifully with and LBV as it balances the intensity of the flavours.
TOWARDS THE END OF A MEAL
Dessert time is the ideal moment for savouring a Port. Cakes and chocolate mousse are well-matched with a young and fruity LBV or Vintage. The intensely rich and sweet traditional Portuguese desserts (based on egg yolks and sugar) are highlighted by the delicate flavour of a 10 or 20 year old Tawny. If you have chosen a fruit salad, caramel custard or almond tart, pair it with a younger wine such as a Tawny Reserve or a 10 year old Tawny that has been chilled to accompany the temperature of the dessert. To match a cheesecake or a mild, creamy cheese, a Ruby Reserve or and LBV should be the choice. Strong-flavoured hard cheeses are best when enjoyed with older Tawnies such as a 20 year old.