20 Year Old Tawny And…

Graham’s makes a wide and versatile range of ports, suitable for enjoying with a broad spectrum of foods.  Over the past few years we have worked with top chefs and sommeliers all over the world to break out of the after-dinner-with-cheese habit.  Dominic Symington and the rest of the sales team have opened up their files and shared some extraordinary menus, specific port and food combinations as well as broader insights to food and flavour combining, which we will explore with you in the coming months.

For the past couple years Dominic has set a challenge to some of the top chefs in Germany:  they were given bottles of one of Graham’s ports and asked to develop a dish to showcase the port as an accompaniment.  Standard after-dinner combinations of either cheese or chocolate were strictly forbidden.

Chef Cornelia Poletto, of Poletto-Restaurant in Hamburg was presented with Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny, which is known for its complex but harmonious palate of almond, mature fruit and delicate spice notes.

A fundamental tenet of food pairing is to be sure the “weight” on the palate of wine and dish are balanced.  In this case the rich and complex flavour of the port calls for a full-flavoured accompaniment.  Assessing the sweetness of the wine and admiring the spicey notes, Cornelia opted to include bitter elements in her dish to contrast the sweetness, and spices to complement and enhance the wine’s flavours.

The result:  handmade wild boar tortelloni in a sauce that played with notes of cinnamon, pepper and cardamom, served with shallots sautéed in port and a salad featuring radicchio, a slightly bitter peppery leaf.

The dish was well received by those attending the port and food pairing seminar, the braised leg of wild boar used in the tortelloni balancing the wine very well.  Dominic commented that the aromas of the sauce reminded him of the smell of recently-emptied port barrels.  The dish was featured on the Poletto-Restaurant menu afterwards, and customers were surprised and intrigued by the suggestion, and when they ordered it, very pleased by the combination.

Chef Cornelia Poletto
Eppendorfer Landstrasse 145 · 20251 Hamburg
Poletto Winebar
Eppendorfer Weg 287  20251 Hamburg

Have you tried a tawny Port with a savoury starter or main dish course?  We would love to learn more about your choices – leave a comment below telling us about your experiences!

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5 thoughts on “20 Year Old Tawny And…

  1. I enjoy 20-yr old tawnies with a beef dish that I make that has a rich shallot, cream, and red wine sauce. Pepper and nutmeg provide the spicey notes in mine.

  2. The 20yr old should go well with a salad and cold meat..

    Why not take a round plate, place a dip of apple chutney in the middle, and cover the rest of the plate with a bed of crisp fresh lettuce.

    Then lay strips of cold fillet steak, lean cold lamb or even biltong around the dip; radiating from the centre.

    Dress the meat with fresh chopped mint, and then decorate the edge of the plate with sliced cucumber and tomato, dusted with a little dried thyme perhaps..

    1. Tom, that sounds good, thank you – fascinated to be given the exact instructions for presentation – something most cookbooks never bother with! Are you a chef?

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