Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wine Review: Graham’s 10 Tawny Port-Just a Touch of Portugal

If you are looking for a sweet wine that is so smooth it feels like silk on your taste buds and satin sheets on your bed you might want to sip a glass of Graham’s 10 Tawny Porto. At an affordable price of $23, it provides a great taste and the feel of luxury without having to pay heavy for it. The wine pours a smooth golden brown color when held to the light. The taste is nutty and dry with high alcohol content.  It does not take much to put a smile on your face.

Graham’s 10 is a 10-year old brandy fortified wine was stored in oak casts on the Douro River in Portugal. If it were designated as a 20, 30, or 40 it would mean the wine has been seasoned for a corresponding amount of years.  The longer the port wine has been stored the smoother the taste and higher the quality.  Of course quality doesn’t come free and one should expect the price to rise as well.

Tawny Port wine is often severed as a dessert wine after a meal. It is sweet, dry, and full of flavor. Such wines have higher alcohol content and can be quiet powerful in their spirit allocations. Generally, such wines are expensive due to the amount of years they have been kept in storage. This cellar time raises both its value and its taste.  The wine may equally be used as a toasting and sipping wine for long drawn out conversations.

W & J Graham’s was formed in the 1820’s from two Scottish families in Portugal. Since that time, the family vineyards have grown in both stature and quality. The Graham family had other interests in England and India making their empire wide and powerful. The families were seen as one of the “merchant princes of Great Britain”. Today the company maintains an important historical connection to the past. 

Port is a fortified wine that takes its unique genre from the town of Oporto in Portugal. Prior to this non-fortified wines became a major export after the establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1143. The Treaty of Windsor in 1386 offered an ever large wine trading partnership between Portugal and England. Merchants moved to England and set up shipping establishments that created greater opportunities for maximum exports.

A trading conflict between England and France further pushed the development of Portuguese wine. Accordingly, in 1667 Louis XIV of France banned products from England. Not to be outdone the English retaliated by banning wines from France. The merchants from Portugal were so busy they ran short of supply and started to water down their products. 

Wine traveling such large distances needed to be fortified to maintain its taste. Merchants began to add a little brandy to each bottle just before shipping. Through this, they found that by fortifying their wines during the fermentation process it made the wines taste both sweater and more fresh.  The process not only created long bottles for storage like the ones you use today but also allowed for such wines to be stored longer. 

Blog Ranking: 4.6/5
Price: $24

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