Monday, June 11, 2012 Talks East Coast Ports

The American Ports - Red, White, and Blue
Written by Debra C. Argen

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."

The Reds 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 Vineyards
1521 Durham Road (Route 413)
Buckingham, Pennsylvania 18912
United States
Telephone: +1-215-794-7188

The White
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
131 Tower Road
Brookfield, Connecticut 06804
United States
Telephone: +1-203-775-1616

The Blue
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.

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
231 Montauk Highway
P.O.Box 962
Water Mill, Long Island, New York 11976
United States
Telephone: +1-631-726-7555
Fax: +1-631-726-4395

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