What To Drink Now: Kopke’s Marvelous Aged White Ports

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As the days become shorter and we begin edging towards the marathon dinner party and feasting season that is November and December, my mind turns to after-dinner wines—bottles that are both excellent complements to the season’s many desserts and special enough to give as gifts. A personal favorite is tawny port. I love the intensity of flavors that develop after long aging in barrel and its soft, silky character resulting from exposure to oxygen over time. This style is traditionally made from red grapes, since firm tannins are necessary for the long aging process. Yet Kopke, the oldest port house in Vila Nova da Gaia, produces wines that drink like tawnies using only the traditional white grapes of the region in 10–40 year old blends. (Some of those wines are even older since these are blends of different colheitas, or years.) The wines have a profound depth and range of flavors that are perfect for fall, from nuts and spices to dark chocolate and orange rind.

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