Port Wine Tasting Part 1 - Kopke
Nelson #Port: Not only is #Porto an absolutely beautful city, but it is also fun because of the Port Wine maker warehouses that offer Port Wine tasting. All of the warehouses are south of the river built into caves and most of them are in close proximity to each other. This makes it perfect for exploring by foot tasting along the way.
As we waited for the tour to start at Ramos Pinto, we decided to just go ahead start the tasting portion of the afternoon. We attempted to try every single one, so we started at the very first one across the bridge, Kopke. Port Wine was popularized by the British who came to this region of Portugal seeking wine because their supply from France was cut off due to war. Port wine only ferments for a few days before the fermentation process is stopped by the addition of brandy. Stopping the fermentation process means the sugar isn't completely converted into alcohol, resulting in a very sweet wine. That's why it is usually enjoyed after a meal with dessert. It goes wonderfully with...
...chocolate! At Kopke with tried the tasting menu called pack tradition (28.8€) which included 5 full glasses. We shared among us as I can't image one person drinking so much! Let's start at the glass on the front right with a surprise....white port! I didn't even know that port could be in the form of a white wine. This one was the Kopke Fine White which is unbarreled. As a result it had a very crisp clean taste that was also sweet and pleasant. We learned that this can be served before dinner and best with a dark chocolate.
Next, in the front right is the Kopke Rose Port. Also not barreled, this one had a very fruity flavour, almost like juice, but not as sweet as the first white one we tried. It was the closest to a regular wine but very sweet and similarly goes best with dark chocolate. Overall I didn't like the taste of this one much and it was my least favourite.
Back left with the dark colour is the Kopke LBV 2005. I'll explain what an LBV is later, but for now, know that it is barrelled. It had a strong aroma, but tasted much lighter than it smelled. It had a lot of flavour and a lot of character. This was my favourite among the five.
In the middle back is the Kopke Colheita 1998 which is a Tawny vintage. Well close to a vintage, but instead of being bottled after 18 months a Colheita has been aging in wooden barrels the whole time. My first impression was of a strong alcoholic flavour, but after tasting the milk chocolate that is recommended to go with it, it completely hid the alcoholic taste. Amazing! This one had a very stereoptypical port taste that I was familiar with.
Lastly is the Tawny which is a blend of port that average to the number of years described on the bottle. The mix is done by a special taster who ensures consistent quality and taste of all port labelled this way. This particular one is a Kopke 30 Years Old. The taste was wonderful and one of the best as the alcohol content was strong, but at the same time it was very very smooth. This was my second favourite.
I'll continue my port wine tasting journey tomorrow, stay tuned for much, much more!
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