Not just any port in a storm
August 7, 2006 1:18 PM   Subscribe

30 Year Old Port: What's the best way to get 30-year old port shipped to an Atlanta hotel before early September? Suggestions for what port to send are also welcome.

A very dear friend of mine is celebrating her 30th birthday in Atlanta early next month. The current plan is to have several bottles of 30-year old port shipped to her hotel for the celebration. Unfortunately, it seems like Georgia state law rules out my using any of the major online wine retailers, and the wine merchants listed on Wine Spectator seemed more like liquor stores and didn't seem to stock any port. Does anyone have recommendations for a good wine purveyor in downtown Atlanta or suggestions as to how I can do this?
posted by ooga_booga to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
Best answer: Ansley Wine Merchants should be able to help.
posted by spilon at 1:24 PM on August 7, 2006

There are several listed here (Ansley among them) that can do the job for you.

We're working on changing the shipping laws (one of many areas of the law where we're a bit backward here), but it's slow going. We only just got the right to buy high-alcohol beer, much to the chagrin of my bank account.
posted by ewagoner at 1:32 PM on August 7, 2006

Best answer: I can't say enough good things about Parman's Wine and Spirits in Sandy Springs. If they don't have it or can't get it, it's simply not to be had.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:34 PM on August 7, 2006

Best answer: Try this list. You should be able to search for a particular port on Wine Searcher as well, and limit your results to only Georgia retailers. You might want to call the retailer yourself (let them know it's a gift) and ask them to suggest something based on your price range - good port should be available at whatever your budget is.
posted by pants at 1:38 PM on August 7, 2006

My thinking is along the lines of:

(1) Can you pair up a wine merchant with the hotel's concierge, kitchen, or room service so that they'll receive the wine and "serve" it for you?

(2) Have the wine shipped to a relative in a state without the draconian liquor laws, then they reship it to you.
posted by rolypolyman at 1:47 PM on August 7, 2006

Response by poster: Thank all of you for the very helpful suggestions - too many to mark everyone as best!

spilon - it never occurred to me to use CitySearch - d'oh! The lady at Ansley was very helpful, but it seems that it may all depend on the state wine distributor carrying what I need.
pants - Wine Searcher seems to be a really useful tool, though - thanks for bringing that up! There does seem to be a store which carries something which might work, which is cool.
rolypolyman - we'll probably have the concierge take care of the wine as you suggest - it'll be fun. As for your other suggestion, it seems that FedEx/UPS will require the wine to be labelled as such, so the wine could still be snitched out to the authorities by anyone along the way. I suppose we could just ship it in unlabelled, which is an option, I suppose.

Thanks again, everyone. I'll post an update once everything's figured out. In the meantime, further suggestions are always welcome.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:22 PM on August 7, 2006

I'm a big fan of Taylor Fladgate 20 year tawny, I haven't sprung for the 30 year yet, but it's got to be amazing based on the 20 year. At our local Wegman's wine shop, the 30 year goes for $89ish. I've tried other ports (Warre, Fonseca, others that don't come to mind) and I've liked nothing so much as Taylor.
posted by booksherpa at 11:04 PM on August 7, 2006

Best answer: I love both Graham's and Warre's 30-year old port - recently just regretfully finished a bottle of the latter (received for my 30th birthday).

As I'm UK based I can't recommend a retailer close to you but I can suggest that you ship the wine as early as possible to allow the contents to settle - ideally for two or three days. You should then decant the Port the day of drinking through guaze into a lead crystal decanter for both best flavour and maximum 'style'.

Some points of good form:
1. An opened bottle of Port should never go unfinished.
2. Port should always be passed to the left (clockwise) from the Host.
3. Never ask directly for the decanter - it is proper to ask the one closest to the decanter whether they know the Bishop of Norwich - this should spur them to pass the port. If they respond in the negative, the correct reply is that "the bishop is an awfully good fellow, but never passes the port!"
4. Port should be served slightly off room temperature - around 65 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Salut, Cheers and Bottoms Up!
posted by mooders at 2:15 AM on August 8, 2006

Response by poster: booksherpa - thank you for the recommendation!
mooders - are both the Warre's and Graham's that you tried tawnies or were they vintages? Is it worthwhile going with a vintage versus an aged Tawny? (There are also vintage tawnies I understand, but please pardon my lack of an oenophile vocabulary)

Thanks for the suggestions of vintners and labels. Your suggestions have given me a great place to start!
posted by ooga_booga at 10:58 AM on August 8, 2006

Response by poster: Well, it turns out that none of the local wine merchants will deliver alcohol since it is against state law to do so. I have found, however, that some wine stores local to me will deliver to Georgia regardless and so they're probably my best bet of arranging this. Thanks for everyone's help, despite the way it's ended up.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:26 PM on August 21, 2006

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