Well, with the holidays comes dessert and with dessert comes the need for dessert wine. You know.......after that wonderful, deliciously dehydrated turkey dinner or that awesomely-spirally spiral-cut ham with marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole paired with some "lively"conversation with your "coveted" in-laws, you gotta unbelt your britches.
...and while your father-in-law is a few yards deep into some $6.99 a bottle corner-store whiskey, perhaps you might want to step outside for a nice cigar and a depressurization session with a nice glass of port.
In California, we DO have at least a couple of the typical grape varietals that are used for port in Portugal, those being Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo). While there are some wineries that make port with the typical grape varietals, the majority of California port is made from Zinfandel, the most "native" of California grapes.
Amador County is a location for a wonderful AVA, Shenandoah Valley, that is coming into its own and has some ideal growing conditions for both the Portuguese and native varietals used for port. The folks at Terra d'Oro have done a great job with this port and it's a great place to start your journey exploring fortified wines.
With powerful aromas of dark chocolate and black currants and rich, round flavors of figs, chocolate and raspberries, this Zinfandel delivers a delightful dessert finish at a great price.
Check out the winery or 1000Corks.com to purchase this 1/2 bottle (375ml) perfectly sized demi-bottle.
NV Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port
Retail: $12 (375ml)
This sample bottle was provided to me free of charge from the PR agency Balzac Communications.