A dry red port?

Anything to do with Port.
Post Reply
Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 11:47 Thu 27 Nov 2014

A very long time ago, the Wine Society used to list a dry red port which was recommended as a aperitif. Over a couple of years, we bought several bottles, and enjoyed it. Then it disappeared from the list and has never returned.

Does such a wine still exist? And is it available in the UK? I can't find anything relevant, either by googling, or by searching this forum. (But I'm a newcomer to this forum, and I'm ready to be told that it's well known and, if I look in the right place, I'll find that it has already been discussed ad nauseam.....)

LGTrotter
Dalva Golden White Colheita 1952
Posts: 3706
Joined: 17:45 Fri 19 Oct 2012
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: A dry red port?

Post by LGTrotter » 02:19 Mon 01 Dec 2014

I have just noticed this and was a little curious. I wonder if you mean a fortified wine or like a red version of Taylor's dry chip white port or a red wine from the duoro? I can only assume you mean what you say; a dry red port. Most peculiar. No I have never come across such a thing. If it is anything like dry white port I must confess I feel glad to have escaped it.

Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

Re: A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 10:15 Mon 01 Dec 2014

No, it wasn't a white port (the Wine Society featured white port separately on its list at the time) and it was a fortified wine.

It occurs to me that this was long ago at a time when labelling regulations were lax, and perhaps the Wine Soc was being a bit imaginative. (I recall that they featured Cyprus 'sherry', and -- if you can believe it -- a sparkling red Burgundy.) I could try phoning them, and see if they'll confess ...

You seem to be down on white port. Certainly, I never seem to see it these days, but a few years ago Lidl stocked it for a time and we had a couple of bottles which I quite enjoyed -- not that I hanker after it now.

User avatar
djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
Posts: 8157
Joined: 20:01 Mon 31 Dec 2012
Location: Belfast
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by djewesbury » 10:23 Mon 01 Dec 2014

Don't start him on white port. Oh, too late…
Daniel J.
delete.. delete.. *sigh*.. delete...

PhilW
Dow 1980
Posts: 2883
Joined: 14:22 Wed 15 Dec 2010
Location: Near Cambridge, UK

Re: A dry red port?

Post by PhilW » 10:31 Mon 01 Dec 2014

Will S wrote:No, it wasn't a white port (the Wine Society featured white port separately on its list at the time) and it was a fortified wine.

It occurs to me that this was long ago at a time when labelling regulations were lax, and perhaps the Wine Soc was being a bit imaginative. (I recall that they featured Cyprus 'sherry', and -- if you can believe it -- a sparkling red Burgundy.) I could try phoning them, and see if they'll confess ...
I'm not aware of any dry red port - can't say I like the sound much either, but any information would be interesting.
Will S wrote:You seem to be down on white port. Certainly, I never seem to see it these days, but a few years ago Lidl stocked it for a time and we had a couple of bottles which I quite enjoyed -- not that I hanker after it now.
That's a whole different discussion - can't find our recent posts, but to précis: a few like the young dry white as a mixer, many do not; some of us very much enjoy the old sweet white such as Dalva Golden White 1971 (aha, discussion around here in part at least).

PopulusTremula
Warre’s Traditional LBV
Posts: 323
Joined: 17:45 Mon 23 May 2011

Re: A dry red port?

Post by PopulusTremula » 11:05 Mon 01 Dec 2014

A suggestion half tongue-in-cheek would be that you look for Cali fruit bombs. Often these have alcohol levels not far from that of port, achieved w/o fortification. Alternatively, Amarone might fit the bill.

User avatar
AHB
Fonseca 1963
Posts: 12275
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: A dry red port?

Post by AHB » 14:25 Mon 01 Dec 2014

Champalimaud ferment their port must to a much drier level than many other producers. I wonder if this is what the Wine Society were selling as "Dry Red Port"?

Perhaps if you could give us an idea of when you were buying it we might be able to look up the relevant WS catalogues.
Top Ports in 2019 (so far): Cockburn 1947 and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
2018 Ports of the year: São Leonardo 1927 White Port (Bottled 2018), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

Re: A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 14:56 Mon 01 Dec 2014

AHB wrote:Perhaps if you could give us an idea of when you were buying it we might be able to look up the relevant WS catalogues.
I'm inclined to say that I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me, :( but we're talking 1970s, or even 1960s.

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 19:31 Mon 01 Dec 2014

I will look this evening and report back.

User avatar
mosesbotbol
Warre’s Otima 10 year old Tawny
Posts: 549
Joined: 19:54 Wed 18 Jul 2007
Location: Boston, USA

Re: A dry red port?

Post by mosesbotbol » 08:42 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Quinta do Infantado makes a slightly drier version of port that quite lovely at all price points.
F1 | Welsh Corgi | Did Someone Mention Port?

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 14:02 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Spring 1962:
Image
Image

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 14:05 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Autumn 1968:
Image

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 14:16 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Other catalogues of the era offered similar, but the only other dry port found was, this century, Churchill’s Dry White.

User avatar
flash_uk
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3028
Joined: 20:02 Thu 13 Feb 2014
Location: London

Re: A dry red port?

Post by flash_uk » 14:30 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Perhaps this particular dry style was discontinued after the Oporto-only bottling regulations came into force in the early '70s?

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: A dry red port?

Post by RAYC » 14:33 Tue 02 Dec 2014

flash_uk wrote:Perhaps this particular dry style was discontinued after the Oporto-only bottling regulations came into force in the early '70s?
I would have thought that dryness would require a difference in the process of making the port, rather than being in the control of overseas bottlers.
Rob C.

Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

Re: A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 14:33 Tue 02 Dec 2014

I'm glad my memory hasn't failed me. I think it was the Reserve Tawny which I used to buy.

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 17:14 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Will S wrote:I'm glad my memory hasn't failed me. I think it was the Reserve Tawny which I used to buy.
Present in the 1971/72 catalogue (see image) at £1·29 a bottle, but not after. After replaced by 6026, “The Society’s Tawny, remarkable value, fruity, light”.
Image

User avatar
djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
Posts: 8157
Joined: 20:01 Mon 31 Dec 2012
Location: Belfast
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by djewesbury » 17:16 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Tawny, red?
Daniel J.
delete.. delete.. *sigh*.. delete...

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 17:18 Tue 02 Dec 2014

djewesbury wrote:Tawny, red?
And your memory of 1971 is how good, exactly?

User avatar
djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
Posts: 8157
Joined: 20:01 Mon 31 Dec 2012
Location: Belfast
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by djewesbury » 17:19 Tue 02 Dec 2014

jdaw1 wrote:
djewesbury wrote:Tawny, red?
And your memory of 1971 is how good, exactly?
Undiminished.
I meant more that I often don't think of tawny as red. Yes, yes, I know.
Daniel J.
delete.. delete.. *sigh*.. delete...

User avatar
flash_uk
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3028
Joined: 20:02 Thu 13 Feb 2014
Location: London

Re: A dry red port?

Post by flash_uk » 19:40 Tue 02 Dec 2014

RAYC wrote:
flash_uk wrote:Perhaps this particular dry style was discontinued after the Oporto-only bottling regulations came into force in the early '70s?
I would have thought that dryness would require a difference in the process of making the port, rather than being in the control of overseas bottlers.
I expect so. My thinking was more that I don't remember ever seeing reference to dry red port other than by the Wine Society, so I thought perhaps that they commissioned its production and bottled it, and once the bottling regulation took effect, gave up on the concept.

Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

Re: A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 21:13 Tue 02 Dec 2014

OK - I plead guilty to the red/tawny confusion; I should, of course, have entitled my query 'A dry tawny port?'

The truth is that I'm not a great port drinker, and I therefore think of wine as red or white (rosé being a heresy in my scheme of things). I wanted to make it clear that the port I was referring to was not a white port, so I said 'red' where I should have said 'tawny'.

As I recall, it was indeed tawny (not at all like a ruby port) and fairly light in colour.

User avatar
djewesbury
Graham’s 1970
Posts: 8157
Joined: 20:01 Mon 31 Dec 2012
Location: Belfast
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by djewesbury » 21:20 Tue 02 Dec 2014

The pedantry was entirely mine.
Daniel J.
delete.. delete.. *sigh*.. delete...

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21532
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A dry red port?

Post by jdaw1 » 21:53 Tue 02 Dec 2014

Will S wrote:A very long time ago, the Wine Society used to list a dry red port which was recommended as a aperitif. Over a couple of years, we bought several bottles, and enjoyed it. Then it disappeared from the list and has never returned.

Does such a wine still exist? And is it available in the UK? I can't find anything relevant, either by googling, or by searching this forum. (But I'm a newcomer to this forum, and I'm ready to be told that it's well known and, if I look in the right place, I'll find that it has already been discussed ad nauseam.....)
Let us re-visit the original question. We now know that it was a “Reserve Tawny, a specially selected wine of great age, and very dry, suitable as an aperitif”, and that the Wine Society sold it until 1972.

Does such a wine still exist (whether or not in the UK)? Well, tawnies of “great age” exist — costing much much more than £1·29 a bottle — but aren’t usually described as “very dry”. And we have tasted a fair selection of the things sold by shippers over the last, well, ages, and I don’t recall many described as “very dry”.

So we might have helped a little, but not more than that.

Will S
Cruz Ruby
Posts: 8
Joined: 18:13 Tue 25 Nov 2014

Re: A dry red port?

Post by Will S » 10:18 Wed 03 Dec 2014

Thanks to all for the interesting comments. I'm pleased to have asked an intelligent question; as I said before, not knowing much about port, I was afraid that the answer might be entirely obvious and commonplace.

Post Reply