A port wine to drink in 20 years
March 9, 2007 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I would like to buy a bottle of port wine as a baby gift [per suggestion of AskMeFi] for some friends but I don't know anything about wine really. I'd like something that would be opened in about 20 years. Does anyone have a few suggestions of a bottle of port that would be suitable for this gift. Bonus points if avail at Costco.
posted by beccaj to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if you can find this at Costco, but this porto is truly remarkable port that has some excellent qualities. It would make a very nice gift.
posted by pezdacanuck at 8:10 AM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: Port and wine are almost two different critters. The wikipedia article on port is a good place to start.

Port comes in a few categories: ruby, tawny, and vintage. There's also late-bottled vintage (LBV). Vintage is the best stuff, and as it happens, generally needs to age for at least 10 years to reach maturity, so it's the most appropriate for your situation. Pick up a bottle of vintage 2003 whatever and give that. It'll set you back $50-$70, I imagine.

I've never seen port at Costco.
posted by adamrice at 8:10 AM on March 9, 2007

Bonus points if avail at 7-11?
posted by phaedon at 8:12 AM on March 9, 2007

Response by poster: phaedon-- I know it seems it crazy but Costco is the largest seller of fine wine in the US. They are the anti-walmart. Low prices-upscale stuff.

adamrice-thanks for the advice. They do have a nice selection at the costco by me in Waltam, MA. They have some on costco on line but I am not in a state that you can purchase wine online unfortunately.
posted by beccaj at 8:23 AM on March 9, 2007

This chart hasn't been updated in a while, but be sure to buy one of the top-rated vintage years when you do buy port. It sounds like 2003 was also a good year.

Just be sure to buy "Porto" (must come from Portugal legally). Other ports are made in Australia and California, but they are more for drinking instead of storing. Go with the classic from Portugal.
posted by cschneid at 8:43 AM on March 9, 2007

I'm seconding(or thirding or whatever) the call to buy a Vintage port.

2000 and 2003 were both great years for vintage port, and a bottle from either of those years from a decent producer will definitely last 20+ years if stored properly.

Taylor-Fladgate, Roses, Ramos Pinto, Fonseca, Grahams and Cockburns(pronounced co-burns) are all great producers who did pretty well in both vintages.

you should be able to find one of these at around $100 and a couple will reach $250+ but it is entirely worth it.

A year or so ago I had the pleasure of tasting a 1960 vintage Taylor port and it was fantastic.
posted by PugAchev at 9:11 AM on March 9, 2007

I'm not sure what the original post was, but I'm assuming the idea is that the kid opens it when s/he's legal? Was the baby born this year? If so, I would suggest seeing how 2007 pans out. Even if you can't give the present right away, I would honestly find it more meaningful to open a bottle of wine that has the same age as myself than to open one that someone dropped a couple hundred bucks down for. Buy something that's special to you, not to wikipedia (or other mefites, for that matter).
posted by tjvis at 9:42 AM on March 9, 2007

Also, be sure you end up with a vintage port, and not a late-bottled vintage port; again, the former are for cellaring for decades and the latter are for immediate drinking.
posted by mendel at 9:56 AM on March 9, 2007

Any reason you're interested in port? Bordeaux wines are the quintissential gets-better-with-age type wine. 2003 and 1999 were great vintages, but I can't say if they would get any better with age.
posted by Brian James at 10:08 AM on March 9, 2007

I just recently bought a Warre's 2003 Vintage Porto. I had some at a tasting and 1970 Fonseca. The Warre's obviously wasn't as good as the Fonseca, but close. Close enough that quite a few people bought a bottle in anticipation of drinking the Warre's in 20 years.

It'd be more memorable if you found a vintage in the same year that the kid was born, but probably not feasible if the kid's a newborn.
posted by Cog at 10:28 AM on March 9, 2007

I'm doing this as well. In a couple of years I'll buy a case of port from 2006, the year my twins were born (I'm praying there will be a good vintage). We'll open a bottle or two on their big occasions - 18th & 21st bdays, graduation from college, wedding, birth of first child - that kind of thing. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the difference in flavors over the years.

I believe my boss, who's a connoisseur, recommended Taylor-Fladgate & Fonseca, but I can't find my notes at the moment so I may be wrong.
posted by widdershins at 10:37 AM on March 9, 2007

I recently had some Taylor Fladgate Tawny port (30 year) that was fantastic. I've been meaning to pick up a bottle for special occasions. Highly recommended.
posted by autojack at 11:18 AM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: Any reason you're interested in port? Bordeaux wines are the quintissential gets-better-with-age type wine.

Port is much better value for money than Bordeaux, which has been the rich asshole's display drink of choice for many years. You may not be able to tell a grand cru from Algerian plonk with your eyes closed, but by god you can show the world you can afford Petrus, which is why Bordeaux is ridiculously overpriced compared to other wines of comparable quality. More and more rich people + constant supply of top Bordeaux = madness. Furthermore, vintage port is likely to taste better to the non-connoisseur than aged claret.

Of course, the same goes for Madeira, but even more so; it's perhaps the most underappreciated wine in the world. But for just that reason, a gift of it won't be as appreciated.
posted by languagehat at 11:24 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have a couple of bottles of '77 Krohn Colheita that is especially awesome.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:47 AM on March 9, 2007

while a Bordeaux would be a good bottle to buy as well, lanquagehat nailed it, price.

for a Bordeaux that would last 20+ years, you would have to spend a hefty chunk of change, most of the recent vintages have been pretty good, and prices of the long lived, 'first growth' wines have risen exponentially.

Madeira is a good choice also, I was able to taste a 76(my birth year) coehlto(I think my spelling is wrong) last year and it knocked me on the floor. I just wish I could afford the $350 bottle price.
posted by PugAchev at 12:07 PM on March 9, 2007

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