Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Port and Chocolate Pairing

Recently a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto landed on my front stoop, a gift from a PR firm. In case you didn’t know, port is a fortified wine produced in Portugal and comes in various styles: tawny, ruby, rose, and white. It’s a sweet wine, usually higher in alcohol content, and can be served as an apertif or in a cocktail.

For many years I associated port with men, usually round men in suits with moustaches and monocles, smoking cigars in a dusty library in front of a roaring fire. I never wanted to try it. Port didn’t seem to fit my personality.

Then I began experimenting with this mysterious libation. I tried a taste of port after a particularly fine dinner and discovered I liked it! Port, served slightly chilled—or if you prefer on ice—features a deep ruby hue. Its compelling plumy aroma prepares you for its smooth, yet intense fruit flavors and rich character. I’m not normally fond of sweet spirits, but port has just the right balance of sugar and mettle. I found it to be the perfect way to prolong that enchanted feeling which follows a wonderful dining experience.

Sandeman Founders Reserve Port is an excellent choice to introduce you to the subtle flavors of this unique spirit. Aged for five years, Sandeman Founders Reserve has all the best qualities of port: richness, depth, character, and flavor. It’s perfect to serve on a cold winter evening—yes, around a cozy fireplace—with an assortment of fine chocolates. Or if you’re a purist like me, break up a bar of Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Belgian chocolate and serve with slightly chilled port in elegant apertif glasses.

Feeling adventurous? Here’s a Cosmo recipe that’s full of body and flavor.

Sandeman Cosmo
1 part Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
2 parts vodka (well-chilled)
1/2 part Triple Sec
1/2 part lime juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Using a shaker, mix the ingredients and serve in a well-chilled martini glass.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For more information, visit www.sandeman.eu

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com
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