Sublime Food & Wine Pairings: Try These Delicious Winter Dishes With Taylor’s Port

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Taylor’s Port from Portugal is delicious when matched with these divine warming dishes.

This fully-bodied ruby port from Taylor’s Port will make your cheeseboard shine.

Winter evenings in call for thoughtful pairings — a cosy rug and a roaring fire, good friends and great music, and of course, delicious food and wine, or in this case, fortified wine. When it comes to quality ports, ruby varieties are delicious when paired with a cheeseboard, chocolate dessert or even as part of an intense port wine reduction. This full-bodied and fruity style of port is one of the show-stopping varietals available from Taylor’s, one of the world’s founding port houses, established in Oporto and the Douro Valley in Portugal in 1692.

Taylor’s Port’s Fine Ruby has been aged for around two years in large oak vats in Taylor’s cellars, or ‘lodges’, in Vila Nova de Gaia. As they age, they gain smoothness and elegance while retaining their fruitiness, intensity and youthful ruby colour. They are then blended together for balance and consistency. With its firm tannins and concentrated fruitiness, Fine Ruby is ideal for the classic port-and-cheese combination.

Taylor’s Fine Ruby is particularly good with blue-veined and richly flavoured soft cheeses — a good farmhouse cheddar or Red Leicester. It also pairs well with berry fruit and dark chocolate flavours and, like all red ports, makes an excellent after-dinner drink.

Ruby ports are often used to make sweet port wine reductions, wonderful when poured over a piece of venison or fillet steak, or drizzled over poached pears for dessert. Try it with a hot chocolate fondant with ice cream or chocolate cake with a raspberry sauce.

Reserve ruby ports such as Taylor’s First Estate go beautifully with a ripe and redolent Pont L’Evêque, a creamy Brie de Meaux or an Italian Taleggio. Meanwhile, Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port is an elegant and fruity take on the ruby style. It makes an excellent match for a goat’s milk cheese such as a fresh Valençay or a Sainte-Maure.

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Why Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port is a global phenomenon.

Fancy yourself as mellow and elegant? Mature with a tinge of nuttiness? When it comes to choosing a port, a tawny varietal is probably best suited to your personality. Taylor’s, one of the world’s founding port houses, established in Oporto and the Douro Valley in Portugal in 1692, is one of the most respected producers of the aged tawny style. Although best known for its legendary vintage ports, Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny has become an exemplar of this style, its tawny colour and complexity of flavour developed over many years of ageing. Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port is the best-selling of its kind in the UK.

Flavour-wise, this deep brick and amber-hued port will delight with its depth and subtlety, possessing mellow spicy, nutty and oaky aromas, a silky palate and opulent flavours. It’s a style of port that is naturally refreshing, served cool, with a glass of chilled 10 Year Old making for a delicious aperitif. But there’s nothing quite like serving it on a brisk winter evening matched to a hard, nutty cheese, or a warm pudding such as apple pie, tarte tatin, baked figs, orange or caramel tart, or cooked strawberries with pepper.

Taylor’s also produces a 20-Year-Old Tawny Port that is fully matured in seasoned oak casks each holding about 630 litres of wine. Here, Taylor’s blends its magnificent 10 year old tawny from its extensive reserves of old cask aged ports matured in the firm’s cool and tranquil cellars (known as ‘lodges’) in Oporto on Portugal’s Atlantic coast.

The 20-Year-Old Tawny can be served in place of a Sauternes or Gewurztraminer, and is divine with a delicate paté and brioche, cutting beautifully through the richness. It’s also excellent with crème brûlée, honey and almond cake and cheeses such as Parmesan and Manchego. Another example of good things taking time.

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This versatile white port from Taylor’s Port makes for a unique accompaniment to warming winter dishes.

You’ve tried port — but have you tried white port? As this classic European fortified wine enjoys a resurgence in popularity, epicureans keen to explore port’s many food-pairing opportunities are now discovering its diverse varietals.

Though white port is often enjoyed as an aperitif, it’s also lovely when paired with a warming winter dish. Take Taylor’s White Port — Chip Dry, for example. This pale, straw-coloured port comes from Taylor’s, the archetypal Port house established in 1692. Taylor’s has been blending White Port — Chip Dry since 1934. It’s one of the world’s founding port houses, based in Oporto and the Douro Valley in Portugal.

Made from dry white ports produced from grapes grown in the Douro Superior (the eastern area of the Valley), Chip Dry is produced using the traditional port wine vinification method, brandy being added to the must to halt fermentation and to preserve some of the grape’s natural sugar in the finished wine. The individual wines are matured separately in oak vats for between four and five years and are then blended together shortly before bottling to give balance and character. In the case of Chip Dry, the brandy is added later, when much of the sugar has been converted into alcohol, producing a port of unusual dryness, with delicate fruit fragrances and the mellow aromas and hints of oak of a traditional white port.

Its fresh, lively palate, good flavour and crisp, dry finish naturally makes it a refreshing summer tipple — but it’s just as delicious drizzled into a warm soup, adding depth to the soup on a cold winter’s day. As an aperitif, serve it with salted almonds and some hand-cut crisps. It’s also lovely when paired with paté as the hints of honey and good balanced acidity in the wine complement its richness beautifully.

To discover the Taylor’s Port range, visit Or find it at your fine wine or liquor store.

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