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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maynard's Port Encyclopedia, vol. II, $54.95, +464917 LCBO Gift Purchase:

Maynard's Port Encyclopedia, vol. II, $54.95, +464917 LCBO Gift Purchase: this is a great introduction for tasting port, a sort-of tutorial. And very useful for a Christmas gift at that price range. Here are six of the BarĂ£o de Vilar's fine Ports for this sampling set. They have been in the business of port for 16 generations; the LBV concept was originated by them in 1954. The six tubes are 60 mL each: 12 ounces in total. Just perfect for 2 – 3 persons, say about $18 each. There are notes on the inside of the box (which looks like a book), and if you want more, there is always Wikipedia. The first three may not seem much like a bargain (white, ruby, LBV 2012) but the latter three are bargains in this context (10-, 20, 30-year old tawnies). There are tasting notes provided (the tawnies regularly get over 90 points just about everywhere) as well as suggested pairings with food. Unfortunately, the food pairings are difficult since the quantity of wine is so small: by the time a couple have tasted and enjoyed the ports, there is little left but the aromas. But it is worth a shot if you go at it alone. One suggestion: the package will cost a bit more, but it may be appropriate to just keep the ports on the dark side by dropping the white port and adding a colheita after the LBV, a sort-of comparison with the tawnies. White ports are about $17 a full bottle, colheitas are twice that. My fave, of course, was the 20-year old tawny, with its complicated nose. nuttiness, and dried fruit tones on the palate. Quality/Price rating of the package is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


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