How to serve a G70

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How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 23:56 Mon 09 Jan 2017

Bonsoir,
(Good evening),

In the incoming weeks, i should be graduating after studying psychology for over 10 years. Obviously, i am going to celebrate it with a good bottle of port. I know it is nothing very fancy for most of you (when i see all the great vintages you are drinking from time to time!!), but i believe a Graham's '70 is going to be a good start for someone who never had the chance to taste any vintage prior to the new millenium.

However, i am a bit anxious at the idea of serving it the wrong way. By serving it, i mean letting the bottle stand upside down for how long, decanting it also for how long, and also if there is any other variable to consider in order to not waste this precious juice!

Merci,
(From Québec, Canada)

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by Andy Velebil » 03:24 Tue 10 Jan 2017

First congratulations on your graduation! It is a fancy VP, even for those of us who've been lucky to have had it. A wonderful choice to celebrate with.

As for serving. It's pretty easy actually. If you can, stand it upright for a day or two prior so the sediment settles. About 5-6 hours prior to enjoying decant it off the sediment into a clean decanter, a clean glass water pitcher will work. Decanter needs not be fancy. Let it air the hours mentioned. Then enjoy, you deserve it.

And please report back on how it was.


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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 04:00 Tue 10 Jan 2017

Alright! Thank you SIR! I must say that i am bit confused as to the time necessary on decanting it, especially from reading all the different times used by AHB! He went from 2 to 10 hours from what i have read, always with a Graham's 70, and couldnt figure out why his decanting times varied so much! :shock:

If i am lucky, i have a friend, who's a professional sommelier (did i spell it right?), taste it with me. He's not much familar with ports (he knows more about wine and gins, particularly), but he should be way better than i am at describing it! :)

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by idj123 » 13:44 Tue 10 Jan 2017

I suspect that Alex's (AHB) variations in decanting times were more down to circumstances than anything else-; I had to decant the G70 12 hours beforehand for the tasting we had last week but that was becuase I had to take into work with me before going on to the tasting. It didn't stop it being the WOTN and perhaps the best G70 i have tasted but I would agree that Andy's decant time is probably preferable.

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by SushiNorth » 15:15 Tue 10 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:If i am lucky, i have a friend, who's a professional sommelier (did i spell it right?), taste it with me. He's not much familar with ports (he knows more about wine and gins, particularly), but he should be way better than i am at describing it! :)
It sounds like you're going to have a lovely evening with a worthy bottle. Might I suggest, in your tasting notes, that you eschew the typical "tastes like a strawberry, no wait, a raspberry! and Criollo chocolate, with a cuban cigar" and aim instead for "makes my mouth happy" "lingers a long time" "nicely balanced, not too spirity" and most importantly "I'd have this again"

Enjoy!
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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by PhilW » 15:24 Tue 10 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:I must say that i am bit confused as to the time necessary on decanting it, especially from reading all the different times used by AHB! He went from 2 to 10 hours from what i have read, always with a Graham's 70, and couldnt figure out why his decanting times varied so much! :shock:
That will be a combination of the fact that they're not all *his* decanting times - they're the times he is reporting that they had been decanted by himself and/or others; and that decanting often has to fit around the real world (perhaps decanting before work, at lunch, or before travelling).

For G70 I would suggest an ideal minimum of about 4hrs, perhaps 4-6hr optimum, though I would not be concerned at even an 8-10hr decant if that were more practical. Good luck with the graduation, and I hope the port shows well for you.

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by differentdave » 15:34 Tue 10 Jan 2017

I always start off with the intention of letting the port sit in the decanter and open up for 4 to 6 hours but when that window approaches somehow a glass or two is missing.
I have since learned that decanting a different bottle of port the day before you want to decant a bottle of port often works in terms of keeping most of the port around during the decanting window!
Basically I need port decanted in order to not drink the decanting port.

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 18:42 Tue 10 Jan 2017

Merci beaucoup everyone! I will definitely have it decant for about 4-6 hours. Your explanations about AHB's decanting times are quite insightful!

Now that I viewed Sushinorth's video on YouTube on his homemade port garrotte, it made me wonder a few things. First, is there any coffee filter that must be avoided? Second, will I be able to open my bottle with a normal corkscrew? :? Third, do you still have any of your port garrotte for sale Sushinorth?

Thanks again for your time everyone!!
Last edited by mapmap on 18:48 Tue 10 Jan 2017, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 18:47 Tue 10 Jan 2017

Also, reading a bit here made me wonder if I should let my port breath inside my wine cellar or at room temperature. Or perhaps in the basement which is a bit cooler than at the rez-de-chaussée? I like the idea of having the port warm up in my guest's hands and my cellar is at 14°. What you guys think about it?

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by DRT » 21:30 Tue 10 Jan 2017

14-16° would be ideal, but no colder otherwise the port will not develop in the decanter over the recommended period.

Enjoy - G70 is one of the greatest ports I have tasted, and I've tasted a few others :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 01:26 Wed 11 Jan 2017

Great! 14° should be fine then! And if i see it drop below 14 (which is very rare), i'll let it breath an hour or two more i guess! Merci!!

If anyone else has answers to my previous questions, feel free to enlighten me! ;) The questions are below:

1) First, is there any kind of coffee filter that must be avoided?

2) Second, will I be able to open my bottle with a normal corkscrew? :?

3) Third, do you still have any of your port garrotte for sale Sushinorth?

4) Thinking about Sushinorth's nickname: is there any port that can be drunk with sushis? I'm thinking about white ports that may be more appropriate. What are your thoughts?

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by DRT » 01:31 Wed 11 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:1) First, is there any kind of coffee filter that must be avoided?
Avoid using any kind of filtration if you can. Standing the bottle up for a couple of days should ensure there is no sediment floating around in the bottle. Decant slowly and carefully in a steady single pour, stopping when you see sediment coming up the neck.
mapmap wrote:2) Second, will I be able to open my bottle with a normal corkscrew? :?
That very much depends on how the bottle has been stored, the quality of the cork and the quality of your corkscrew. If all is well a 1970 should be capable of uncorking without any special equipment.
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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 01:38 Wed 11 Jan 2017

Hmmm. Then, how do you identify when to use filtration and when not to? :? I'm confused!

I will also pray that my cork and corkscrew will fit together fine then! :)

Thank you for your fast reply SIR!!

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by DRT » 02:37 Wed 11 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:Hmmm. Then, how do you identify when to use filtration and when not to? :? I'm confused!
Many of the bottles that you see tasting notes for here have been carried to tastings unopened or opened in haste. If the wine has not had time to settle filtration is helpful, but sometimes it can strip away some of the greatness of the Port. Decanting without filtration is normally always preferable, but only if the bottle has been rested sufficiently to allow the sediment to collect in the bottom and not end up in the decanter.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 02:43 Wed 11 Jan 2017

If i get it right, then a bottle that hasn't been laying on its side for years, or a vintage bottle that didn't stand up for at least a day should be filtrated? Otherwise, a decanter should be fine?

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by PhilW » 11:47 Wed 11 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:1) First, is there any kind of coffee filter that must be avoided?
DRT's answer is correct - that avoiding filtration is better where possible - but you will get a lot of different answers on this one. I would say in order of priority:
a) Stand up the bottle (so sediment settles) and decant with no filter - best option, but trickiest and potentially most wasteful, though you can also decant the last part through a filter.
b) Stand up the bottle if possible, and decant through muslin or sterile medical gauze (latter easily obtained e.g. boots or Amazon).
c) Decant through filter paper (standing up now irrelevant). Answering your actual question directly, yes if using filter paper make sure it is unbleached.
I now tend to use (b), even if only stood for a short time.
mapmap wrote:2) Second, will I be able to open my bottle with a normal corkscrew? :?
Yes, though the cork may break; if it does, you will have to do your best to get the bottom part out of the bottle, or push it in. You will also have to use option (b) or (c) to avoid having bits of cork floating in the decanted port.
mapmap wrote:4) Thinking about Sushinorth's nickname: is there any port that can be drunk with sushis? I'm thinking about white ports that may be more appropriate. What are your thoughts?
Try it and let us know what you think. Take guidance and suggestions from others, sure, but determine what you like for yourself and don't let others tell you what you like.

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by djewesbury » 13:32 Wed 11 Jan 2017

You should also make sure that you have been standing on your head for 15 minutes of every hour before drinking.

And whilst you may want to wear linen trousers, these could impair the flavour of the port, in which case a neoprene overcoat can be adopted.

Really, so few rules, and so little time to drink it.

To summarise:

When decanting, after standing, or not standing, either do or don't filter it. Leave it in the jug, pitcher, decanter or boot for between 4 and 14 hours, and then drink before, during or after food, or, without food, in which case food should be consumed first, or after.

Simple really, bet you're glad you asked.
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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 18:25 Wed 11 Jan 2017

Thank you Phil! I will definitely consider everything you said :D

Daniel, do I have to take selfies to prove that I did stand on my head for 15minutes every hour before drinking? I understand that there are various ways of drinking port, and that people may behave differently. However, in order to not have a bad start with my first good vintage and to slowly develop my knowledge, having some tips at the beginning may help me develop my criticism, just like Phil did! ;) I must admit that I am not the kind of person who act randomly and hope that it's gonna be fine, especially when it comes to something worth a few hundreds! Call me anxious if you want :)

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by DRT » 21:52 Wed 11 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:Call me anxious if you want :)
Anxious,

I think what Daniel is trying to say is that there is no right or wrong and very little chance of you spoiling the Port. You definitely seem to be a cautious sort so it is difficult to imagine you doing anything rash. With regards to filtering, bear in mind that Vintage Port has been decanted for two centuries before the advent of unbleached supermarket coffee filters. You should not need them provided the bottle has not been shaken or recently transported. That is why we sometimes use them - we often carry bottles in cars, trains or planes on the way to tastings and decant them five minutes after we arrive. As you have plenty of time to allow the Port to settle you should be able to uncork it and pour it into a decanter as described above.

Please try not to worry. Port is to be enjoyed, not fretted about :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by Doggett » 01:16 Thu 12 Jan 2017

DRT wrote:Port is to be enjoyed, not fretted about :wink:
+1
You have lots of advice, all of it is valid, and whatever you decide to do now in preparation will be fine. Ultimately the port will decide and with a Graham's 70 you have a better than average chance of tasting some truely marvellous juice. Relax... Pick your method and timing, but ultimately let the port treat you to the sensuory experience it so wishes to give! Unless it is a poor bottle (which I believe to be a less than a 10% chance if it has been kept well), with the care you have given to finding the best way to experience it, it will be a truely wonderful experience. Congrats on your celebration and I look forward to hearing what it tastes like (and that should be your personal viewpoint and not that of a friend/sommelier...although that will be equally interesting).
Enjoy the wonderful juice that many will not have the privilidge of tasting.
All the best,
Simon

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 03:47 Thu 12 Jan 2017

From what I read, I am pretty sure there are bad ways to store and drink port! But yes, I admit that I can be pretty cautious when it comes to things I really care about! I guess it's my way of mastering a new passion!

Now, I have to wait until my research directors tell me it's over! With luck, I'll be able to taste it this weekend or the weekend later. I'll make sure to take plenty of pictures, as a souvenir! And if the bottle is poor, I bought a second G70, therefore I'll have a backup! ;)

You'll soon hear again from me, trust me!!

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by Andy Velebil » 06:52 Thu 12 Jan 2017

Back ups are always good...one can't be too careful just in case (of extra thirst that it :). )


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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by djewesbury » 12:28 Thu 12 Jan 2017

TPF is also a forum of many learned and scholarly souls, some of us frequenting the rarer, loftier realms of academe. We should probably organise a viva voce with you soon to check that you can adequately defend your research (into drinking port).
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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by mapmap » 18:37 Thu 12 Jan 2017

I agree with you Andy!! And Daniel, I would love it! As long as I can study it for a few months!! :lol: will you travel to me in Canada??

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Re: How to serve a G70

Post by AHB » 15:22 Fri 13 Jan 2017

mapmap wrote:Great! 14° should be fine then! And if i see it drop below 14 (which is very rare), i'll let it breath an hour or two more i guess! Merci!!

If anyone else has answers to my previous questions, feel free to enlighten me! ;) The questions are below:

1) First, is there any kind of coffee filter that must be avoided?

2) Second, will I be able to open my bottle with a normal corkscrew? :?

3) Third, do you still have any of your port garrotte for sale Sushinorth?

4) Thinking about Sushinorth's nickname: is there any port that can be drunk with sushis? I'm thinking about white ports that may be more appropriate. What are your thoughts?
I like port which has been standing in a decanter at 14-16C. It's pleasantly cool to start with and warms up slowly, changing character slightly as it does. When I taste or decant port and then write a tasting note I try (when I can) to also record the length of time the port was decanted before tasting it. I do this so that I, and others, can see whether a longer or shorter decanting time makes any difference to the flavours and quality of the port.

When I can, I stand a bottle for a few hours or days before decanting it. Sometimes I don't get the chance and I take a bottle which has been lying down for a few weeks / months / years and decant that. In either case I will pour from the bottle into the decanter until the sediment starts to reach the neck of the bottle (you can usually see this if you shine a strong torch through the bottle as you pour). Once the sediment has reached the neck of the bottle I either filter the rest through unbleached coffee filter paper into the decanter or I pour the rest into a glass and allow it to settle for 5-10 minutes before "testing" the port to make sure it is of acceptable quality. Don't use bleached coffee filter paper as this can taint the Port.

You should be able to open a Graham 1970 with an ordinary cork screw. If the cork does break into pieces, you'll have to fish these out or filter them. Another option is to push the cork into the bottle, decant the port, rinse the bottle and then bag the cork out of the empty bottle. This way you have the complete and intact cork from your first major bottle of Port. (If you don't know how to do this trick, search Youtube for "How to get a cork out of an Empty Wine Bottle".)

I still have my port garrotte! I don't use it as often these days as I used to now that I have learned how to use normal rigid cork tongs properly.

No idea about Port and sushi - but please experiment and let us know. I love LBV or young vintage port with steak or bolognaise sauce.
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