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When to Drink 20 Year Old Tawny

September 20, 2012
Question by: Ryan, Henderson, USA

Q:

I have a bottle of Grahams 20yr old Tawny Porto that was bottled in 2002. I have had it in a wine fridge since I got it 7 yrs ago.  My questions are, should I be drinking this as soon as possible? Has it probably gone bad? Is there any reason to wait to drink?

A:

Hi Ryan, Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port is a lovely port, with notes of orange, toasted nuts, honeyed fruit and burnt toffee, and we think there is no reason to wait to enjoy it!  Tawny Ports are bottled ready to enjoy, and although they will hold their quality if stored well, they are not wines that will improve or change very much in bottle, as they have aged and oxidised in wooden cask for many years before bottling - in this case, the blend will be from several wines which together have an average age of at least 20 years, and in fact, our preferred blends usually work out slightly older.

The 20 Year Old pairs particularly well with nuts and dried fruit, but also creamy desserts - here in Portugal we enjoy an egg-custard filled pastry called natas, or crême brulée type desserts.  Be sure to lightly chill your Tawnies before serving - this actually enhances the aromas and flavours and makes Tawny Port very refreshing as an aperitif as well.  If you and your friends do not finish the bottle, it can be re-corked and saved in the fridge and enjoyed over the course of a couple weeks.



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