Hip, hip, hurray for the"Red, White, and Blue," the American Ports from CHARBAY® Winery & Distillery, California (Charbay Ruby Port), Buckingham Valley Vineyards, Pennsylvania (Forest Cellars Premium Ruby Port), DiGrazia Vineyards, Connecticut (DiGrazia Vineyards White Magnolia Light Port) and Duck Walk Vineyards, Long Island, New York (Duck Walk Blueberry Port). A wonderful meal deserves a fabulous finish, and a glass of these Ports served along with the cheese or dessert course will make a memorable finale for your guests.
Traditionally, Port, or Vinho do Porto, is a fortified wine made in the Douro Valley of Portugal, however many areas in the world, including the United States, are now making delicious Port-style dessert wines. To show the diversity of the product, I selected three different style Ports, ruby, white, and blueberry, from four different winemakers in four states; the results are a resounding "wow."
Family owned and operated CHARBAY® Winery &Distillery is located in St. Helena, Napa Valley, California. Miles Karakasevic and his wife Susan started the company in 1983 as a continuation of Miles' family history whose family has been making spirits since 1751. Miles and his son, Marko Karakasevic, are 12th and 13th generation Artisan Distillers who excel at doing things a little bit differently, which we evidenced when we visited them in Napa Valley.
Luscious, best describes their gorgeous Charbay Ruby Port, with its deep, rich, ruby color and a heady, aromatic nose, which has lovely fruit and layers of complexity on the palate. Miles and Marko make their Ruby Port with fruity Cabernet blended with 8-year old hand-distilled library Charbay Brandy, and age it in French Oak to create their flavor profile. The gold script on my bottle of Charbay Ruby Port states that it was made from Barrels 24-39, which was somehow comforting, enlightening, and empowering, knowing exactly which barrels they had hand selected to create their Ruby Port, creating a personal connection to this exceptional product.
The Charbay Ruby Port is perfect to serve alongside the cheese course, offer guests a selection of cheeses including a creamy goat cheese, Stilton, and one of my favorites, a rich and runny Époisses de Bourgogne to pair with this lovely California Port accompanied by walnuts and slices of ripe pear. It would also pair well with dark chocolate; imagine chocolate fondue or molten lava cake served with chocolate ice cream.
CHARBAY® Winery &Distillery is open 7 Days a week from 10:00am until 4:00 pm, and is closed on major holidays.
CHARBAY® Winery &Distillery
4001 Spring Mountain Road
St. Helena, Napa Valley, California 94574
Jerry Forest, owner and founder of Buckingham Valley Vineyards, located in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, followed his dream and planted his first vines back in 1966 becoming the first of the Pennsylvania winemakers. Buckingham Valley Vineyards just released their Forest Cellars Premium Ruby Port.
Forest Cellars Premium Ruby Port is rich, full-bodied, with a deep, ruby color, and is a Barrel Aged Limited Reserve Blend, VSOP, 20% alcohol by volume. Although Jerry Forest has been making very small batches of Ruby Port for several years for his family; this is the first time that he made enough to be able to offer it to those of us not lucky enough to be family members.
Forest Cellars Premium Ruby Port
The delectable Forest Cellars Premium Ruby Port is also nice to serve with cheese, and for this Pennsylvania Port, I would pair a hard cheese like a Manchego from Spain and accompany it with guava paste. Another nice pairing would be to serve the port alongside a buttery, rich pound cake.
Buckingham Valley Vineyardsis open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00am until 6:00 pm,Sunday from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm, and closed on Monday. Visit their website for additional information.
Read about Buckingham Valley Vineyards in the Wine Cellar- Discovering the Bucks County Wine Trail, Pennsylvania, USA.
For more information, please visit the Buckingham Valley Vineyards website: www.PAWine.com.
Buckingham Valley Vineyards
1521 Durham Road (Route 413)
Buckingham, Pennsylvania 18912
DiGrazia Vineyards, owned by Dr. Paul DiGrazia, is located in Brookfield, Connecticut,and is the second oldest vineyard in Connecticut, established in 1978 as a vineyard and opened as a winery in 1984. Dr. DiGrazia produces a very nice light, white port called DiGrazia White Magnolia Light Port, 15.8% alcohol by volume, which has won awards since its debut. He ages his White Magnolia Light Port for 3 months in American White Oak.
White Magnolia Light Port
This delightful white Port made with white grapes and brandy is a perfect choice for white wine drinkers with its elegant style, with stone fruit, white peaches and apricots, and light citrus on the nose. On the palate, it has a lovely long finish. Although Ports are not usually chilled, the White Magnolia Light Port is delicious chilled and served as an aperitif or with dessert. An especially nice dessert pairing would be to serve the White Magnolia with pears poached in the White Magnolia, accompanied with goat cheese, and sprinkled with toasted chopped pistachio nuts, or white peaches or apricots marinated in a little White Magnolia and then grilled and served with a selection of hard cheeses.
DiGrazia Vineyards is open from January through April on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm, and from May through December, they are open daily from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Read about DiGrazia Vineyards in the Destinations- Wining and Dining on the Connecticut Wine Trail, USA.
For more information, please visit the DiGrazia Vineyards website: www.Digrazia.com.
131 Tower Road
Brookfield, Connecticut 06804
Dr. Herodotus "Dan"Damianos, Founder, and Owner of Pindar Vineyards founded Duck Walk Vineyards with his son, Alexander Damianos in 1994. Today, there are two Duck Walk Vineyards locations, one in Water Mill, Long Island, New York, just past Southampton, and the other on the North Fork of Long Island in Southold, New York. One of their signature wines is a wonderful Duck Walk Blueberry Port.
The 2007 Duck Walk Blueberry Port,19% alcohol by volume, made with hand picked rich, ripe, wild mountain Maine blueberries,tastes like summer in a bottle. Unlike their larger blueberry cousins, wild mountain blueberries are smaller and have more intense, concentrated flavors,and the resultant Blueberry Port has intense fruit notes, wonderful complexity, and a lingering sweet finish.
Duck Walk Blueberry Port
This is a port that cries out to be sipped, savored, and paired with a sinfully rich dark chocolate dessert,although with its intense berry and fruity notes, it would also be lovely in culinary recipes to reduce as a sauce, Duck à la orange may have new competition, Duck à la blueberry. Besides the dark chocolate pairing, other delicious pairings would be the Duck Walk Blueberry Port served with sharp or creamy goat cheeses for a lovely contrast, served with blueberry pie or blueberry cheesecake, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream accompanied with blueberry compote.
Duck Walk Vineyards is open for tastings daily from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Duck Walk Vineyards
231 Montauk Highway
Water Mill, Long Island, New York 11976
When you are looking to purchase your next bottle of Port, remember the "Red, White, and Blue," the American Ports.