A port in a storm for chilly spring evenings 

Port

The weather hasn’t really kicked in to spring yet, has it? We had that one weekend of warm weather which feels like an absolute age away and now we’re back to wind, rain and grey weekends. As I type I’m watching the river Thames violently throw itself against the pier. 

The other problem with this weather that makes me want to wrap up in a blanket and  read a book by a fire is that I’m put off by drinking crisp chilled whites and rosés. Naturally, I’ve gone full circle and turned to Port! 

The great thing about Port – apart from the fact that IT’S ABSOUTELY DELICIOUS – is that once opened, it lasts forever. Or maybe a week or two at mine. It’s also like a a warm hug in a glass, cheaper and way more fun than turning the heating on. 

I have a serious love affair with Niepoort thanks to Mr Ben Straw who introduced it to me over 9 years ago. I’m especially fond of the entry level Ruby Dum which for a 75cl usually retails around £9-12 online. 

As soon as you open it you can smell how fruity it is. It’s a classic, rich dark fruit style with a generous balance of warming spices. I prefer it over things like Taylor’s and Grahams standard Ruby Ports because it if its almost red currant jammy taste. I am more of a savoury person really so it’s the spice and alcohol that stops it from being sickly. 

If you really want to go up a notch then go for the Niepoort Late Bottle Vintage. This is the aged older brother of the Ruby and it’s a noticeably richer, reduced and complex. I love that I get more sweet chutney notes from it like rich, sugary figs. It’s the sort of port you can sit down and really think about and I t’s a great addition to a cheese board because it goes with practically anything. 

Now sitting snuggled up with a blanket, and old film and a glass of Ruby port doesn’t feel so bad. But I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for some warmer weather. 

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