Fortified Drinking

By | June 8, 2006

I went along to a fortified wine tasting this week. It was great fun. We had a dozen assorted fortified wines all tasted blind. Lustau featured quite heavily with a Fino, a dry Oloroso, and a reserve Manzanilla. Overall the standard was very good, although the Fino tasted like it had spent too long on the shelf, a replacement bottle of Fino was far bouncier. The Manzanilla was bizarrely reminiscent of Bacon Frazzles, but in a surprisingly good way. I’d certainly recommend the whole Lustau brand.

Barbadillo was the other well represented producer. We tried a PX that was all figs, prunes and toffee pudding, and an Amontillado which balanced olives and nuttiness beautifully.

A couple of Martinez ports were good value options, but the star of the night was a Graham’s 1983 vintage. Perfectly balanced with well integrated fruit, it’s offensively good. Expect to pay about £40 a bottle. At that money it’s not for any old Thursday night, but it would finish off any celebration meal wonderfully.