I think I like port now.
That’s the main conclusion I’ve drawn, after trying this very nice Kopke Fine Ruby Port, as well as the Port Wine Sangaree from a few weeks ago.
My first experience with port was about 10 years ago now, on a cold Christmas Eve night in Aberystwyth, Wales. It was included in a prix fixe meal as an after dinner drink, and I was super excited (for some reason), but when it came I hated it. Syrupy, too sweet, too alcoholic… I just wasn’t having it. A disappointing end to a delicious meal. And so, as a first impression, it was a poor one, and since then I’ve assumed that I didn’t like port. But now more and more I feel like it was probably just bad port.
Anyways, back to the Kopke. We received this as a part of the PiC’s Cheese of the Month subscription from the Cheese Store of Silverlake (if you’re in LA, check them out!) and it was a great choice. Just looking at the bottle, I loved the design – it almost looks like a fake wine bottle from a cartoon or something (I pictured seeing XXX on the other side, like a big jug o’ alcohol). When we poured it, it was a beautiful deep ruby color. Apparently, and I just learned this, ruby port is aged in stainless steel, so doesn’t oxidize or change color (unlike tawny, etc., aged in wooden barrels).
Tastewise, it was very nice, fruit-forward and not too sweet or alcoholic tasting. Paired perfectly with the cheese that we had, and you could sip on this for a long time without getting tired, or it turning saccharine. A very fine ruby port. (See what I did there?)
It seems to retail for around $14.99, and a bottle would last you a fair amount of time (you wouldn’t want to drink it all in one sitting).