Quinta do Noval
Every so often some bureaucrat at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board screws up when filling out the computerized order form and ends up accidentally ordering 300 cases of some wine when he meant to order 30. When this happens, good wines go on sale. This has apparently happened with the Quinta do Noval LB Porto. Typically, this unpedigreed port would sell for between $15 – $18 a bottle. It’s been on sale at state stores for $10, and I’m stocking up.
It’s not cloyingly sweet, and strangely this makes it go less well with food than some other ports of similar distinction. It has a noticeably alcoholic nose and a strong blackcurrant jam foretaste. The tail is somewhat bitter, but not unpleasantly so — more like a sour apple with a hint of sour cherry (oh, how I wish I could get sour cherries here. I miss them.)
Is it a great port? No. But it’s a good port, and at $10 it’s a steal. In a world where one has to pay $75 (!) for a bottle of Fonseca vintage 2000, there’s something to be said for economizing on the stuff you drink when you’re not celebrating a special event.