Have to first thank my friend Jared (his brother Matt also) for the invite to his store Benz Beverage Depot http://www.benzbeveragedepot.com/. 10 ports for tasters and I can honestly say I have only had port once in my life. I had no idea what to expect which had me a little scared. What I found throught the night is there are small differences between each but to me with the exception of some being smooth or softer flavor, most were the same. I'm sure its my lack of drinking but I did like each and every one of them.
The night started with the Ferreira White Port which I liked very well. Slight caramel flavor and sweet. We quickly headed to the table with the most expensive bottle a Summit Lake Clair Riley Zinfandel Port Howell Mountain Ca 2001. Holy crap this was smooth and rich and only $106.00 per bottle. I could have stopped right there but next came the Niepoort 10 year Old Tawny Port from Portugal. Nice fruity/nut flavor and only $47.99 per bottle. Next the d'Arenberg Vintage Shiraz Port Australia 2001. Slight spice to this one and warmed me up nicely ($35.99 per bottle). DeKrans Cape Tawney Port S Africa was in line to try and this was much more full flavored. Toffee and spice were the 2 flavors I identified most. $15.29 per bottle seemed like a steal. 2 more to go and then the next table was in sight but Brown Estate "Arrested" Zinfandel Port Napa Valley 2006 was really good. Smooth as silk, fruit and spice. $44.99 per bottle we all really liked this one as well and Kim decided this would be her purchase. We also all commented how arrested fit her perfectly. That's another topic. Finally I finished table one with Cedar Ridge Vineyards Port Lot 6 which I've had and is made right in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Made from Cedar Ridge grapes and fortified in it's own brandy, priced at $16.39. Sadly at this point the flavors are all running together.
The final table I'll run through fairly quickly as I had a hard time picking up the different flavors. The Ferreira Ruby Port $12.99, Ferreira Tawny Port $12.99, Ferreira 10yr Port $19.99, Quinta do Crasto 1997 Vintage Port $46.59 and finally the Broadbent Auctio Reserve Port $19.99.
Favorite of the night was obviously the Summit Lake followed by Browne Estate, Niepoort 10 and finally d'Arenberg. I commented how nice a port would be sipping out on the patio with friends including cigars or on a cold winter night in front of the fireplace. I liked the them all but I will need to review more of them one at a time to gain a better understanding of ports.