Dominic Symington is on the road again, this week in São Paulo, Brazil at Expovinis, showing a range of Graham’s Ports including Six Grapes and the Graham’s 1983 Vintage, 10 and 20 Year Old Tawnies, and our 1969 Single Harvest Tawny. Whilst there is nothing very unusual in this, he worked with José Carlos Santanita, of The Wine Academy who are also at Expovinis, to create an unconventional presentation and tasting experiment for visitors.
Arrayed on the table surrounding a bottle of Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny were wine glasses, each containing samples of herbs, spices or fruits, such as star aniseed, nutmeg, pepper, orange peel, and various fresh tropical fruits. Guests were invited to enjoy a tasting of the Tawny and then “nose” the various foodstuffs. This helps the connoisseur to identify aromas and flavours in the wine by comparing them with an actual sample of that food, and may also suggest compatible food pairings.
Dominic’s own findings:
I did compare lemon thyme and dried desiccated orange peel … Even a hint of cinnamon stick and a little vanilla pod. Amazing how individually you can find hints of these aromas when you smell them pure in a glass and then compare to a glass of 20 Year Old Tawny! Sadly I didn’t have a chance to try this with a young vintage.
Anyone who has done a wine course is likely to have worked with the bottled aroma essences in wine education kits, but have you ever tried this kind of experiment with foods, flowers or other aromatic materials to compare with your Port wines? What have you found that surprised you?