The Drinks Cabinet meets America’s foremost Port wine aficionado Roy Hersh, the man behind the web’s biggest repository of information about Port, FortheLoveofPort.com
Today the number of ‘Port’ wines made around the world of doubtful provenance has swelled with global demand. However for Roy, an inductee of the centuries old Confraria do Vinho do Porto (the Port wine brotherhood) quality Port has to come from its proper place of origin, the Douro valley in northern Portugal.
Roy, who is based in Seattle, has carved a niche for himself as the leading journalistic authority on this renowned Portuguese export, after working in the food and wine industry for several decades.
After falling in love with a certain vintage Port at a top New York restaurant, which had several on its list of dessert wines, Roy began to develop an increasing expertise in port, culminating in him being able to quit his day job in 2004, to write about and taste Port full time.
Yet Roy is keen to point out that, to fully appreciate the character of Port, it should be drunk on its own.
“On occasion, I will drink port along with dessert. However, the majority of the time I will drink and appreciate port on its own, so that I can fully discern the incredibly complex nuances imparted on my palate.
That being said, port pairs perfectly with many dessert dishes, including: crème brûlée, a variety of cheeses, chocolate centric dishes, pecan pie, peach cobbler and apple tartlet to name just a few. With Valentine’s Day coming up, restaurants tend to pair port with chocolate items.”
Putting Port Online
For the Love of Port was Launched in July 2005, quickly becoming the most comprehensive Port website out there, featuring an archive of Roy’s articles, a searchable database of no less than 3,000 Port, Madeira and Douro wine tasting notes, travel suggestions, and lots more. He also guides three exclusive food and wine tours per year, exploring the Port, Madeira, Douro and Vinho Verde wine regions
Roy tastes around 600 Port, Madeira and Douro wine each year. He’s provided The Drinks Cabinet with a selection of his favourite Ports that are within the price of range of most consumers.
“The two categories of port that are not only easy to find, but are extremely affordable, our Reserve Ruby Ports as well as LBV (Late Bottled Vintage Port).
“A few examples of my favorite Reserve Ruby Ports are: Noval Black, Fonseca Bin 27, Sandeman’s Reserve, and Graham’s Six Grapes. For LBV Ports, seek out any of these producers: Quinta do Crasto, Quinta do Noval, Fonseca, Quinta do Portal, Dow’s, Taylor and Smith Woodhouse.”