With the holiday season upon us and lots of food and entertaining ahead, we thought it time to explore which Graham’s ports worked with the holiday treats, beginning with a few Thanksgiving classics.
When polled, the Symington family unanimously voted for Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny to accompany the desserts of a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.
Why? The fundamental tenet of food pairing is to think about balancing the weight and complexity of the wine with that of the dish; you don’t want one to overpower the other – they should be in balance. In terms of flavour qualities, you can choose between complementing or contrasting the food with the wine.
In the case of Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port, your wine is rich, sweet and smooth on the palate, balanced, with a long finish, and very supple and silky – for all its complexity and richness it does not feel like a heavy wine in the mouth. The tasting notes are distinctly nutty, with mature fruit, caramel, possibly a whiff of orange peel on both nose and palate.
Typical Thanksgiving desserts are fruit pies: apple pies, pear tarts, pumpkin pies. If you think about eating or cooking with any of those fruits you know they are complemented – their flavours enhanced – by nuts, caramel and orange flavours, so a wine which possesses these kinds of tasting notes is a good bet to complement dishes made with these fruits.
Spending the post-meal evening with family, friends and a bottle of 20 Year Old Tawny whilst working slowly through a big bowl of fresh roasted chestnuts and dried fruit, such as apricots, is also an inviting and relaxing prospect.
If you wish to go with a dish to contrast with your Tawny, try creamy desserts: a crème brulée (our Lodge staff’s favourite) or even a vanilla or nut ice cream make a wonderful foil for the richness of the wine.
In the interest of proving the theory, just to be sure! we baked an apple pie, a pumpkin and maple pie, and roasted some chestnuts last night. After exhaustive taste tasting on your behalf, we are able to confirm that theory has not failed us in this case – Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny really does match well and complement these foods.
What will you be serving this Thanksgiving, and which Ports will you be pairing with your meals? We would love to know! Post a comment and share your suggestions and experience with us and all our readers.