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Churchill’s White Port

Most people are familiar with port wine. It comes from Portugal and you should
Posted 24th May 2012        
     

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Most people are familiar with port wine. It comes from Portugal and you should drink it when it’s very old. Right?

While is does come from Portugal, there is a lot more to port then the fact that you should drink it old. As a matter of fact, that only applies to vintage port and there are at least 5 different categories of port – vintage port only being one of them. Traditionally, port has been made with the red grapes, touriga nacional, touriga franca and tinta roriz, foot trodden and aged in barrels they are rich, dark and generally long lived wines.

White port is made in much the same way as red port wine. The varieties used are white wine varieties and the production is the same in that a spirit is added to the fermenting wine before all fermentation is done in order to stop it. The wines are also aged in the barrel for long periods of time so that the wines achieve a deep golden colour.

Churchill’s make a most excellent white port which is great as an aperitif. White port is traditionally drunk as an aperitif mixed with tonic water in the middle of the torrid summer days of the Douro Valley. Churchill’s white port is composed of  the white Portuguese varieties, Malvasia Fine, Codega, Couvelo and Ribagato. The wine is labeled as a dry aperitivo but it does have residual sugar and I would not consider it to be bone dry. It is however, a delight: a slight hazelnut and nutmeg nose, almost dry, sherry-like in character but not being as oxidized as sherry; excellent acidity with orange and tangerine flavours and a peppery finish. It was great with a handful of salted almonds and, despite having some residual sugar, was very refreshing. I loved this wine. It’s so good, you don’t even need the tonic – just drink it nicely chilled.

Churchill’s recommends it as an aperitif but I can also see it being served as an after-dinner drink; just be careful as it goes down easy. The white port is available in many fine restaurants and Churchill’s has recently launched a 20cl bottle in restaurants so that you can be sure that it’s fresh.

     

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Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter