Webster’s Latest Tasting

Anteres Anderson

One of the fun things we get to do now and again is get up close and personal with folks at one of our favorite stores – Webster’s Fine Stationers – and lead a quick tasting. The store is at 2450 N. Lake Ave., Ste. B; Altadena, CA 91001; (626) 797-1135. The wine is supplied by Webster’s Liquor, at the same address but two doorways up, (626) 797-1163.

We had a blast last month, celebrating Valentine’s Day with port and bubbly. And we got to meet Anteres Anderson, who actually had two and a half wine FAQs to add to our upcoming list.

First up, What do you serve with hamburgers? And the half question, what do you serve with ribs?

And the second question was what are some good starter wines?

Come back soon to get the answers. We do plan on putting up a wine FAQ page sometime this spring.

We started out serving a Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto (non-vintage).

A couple quick words about port. The wine traditionally comes from Portugal (hence the port in the name), from Porto, so that’s why you sometimes see it labeled Porto. The British really loved the stuff. If you’re a Dorothy Sayers fan, you know that Lord Peter Wimsey had a real thing for fine vintage ports. And it’s all over British literature. In any case, they started bottling it themselves and that’s why most ports you see in the States have labels from British companies.  It is intended as a dessert wine, so that’s why it’s so sweet.

And here are the tasting notes we came up with for the wines that night.

Chandon Blanc de Noirs, NV
Type: Sparkling white
Plays well with: Chocolate strawberries, cheeses.

The wine has a lovely off-white, almost amber color, with a nice toasty nose. Like toast made from bread, as opposed to a toasted oak barrel. The toast carries through to the taste, that also has just a hint of sweetness, balanced with the slightly tart taste of acids. The finish, as the wine slides over the back of your tongue, is light and wonderful.

Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto, NV
Type: Port/Sweet
Plays well with: Chocolate

Port is a sweet fortified wine – meaning that they added some extra alcohol at the end of the fermenting process to kick it up a bit, since the wine was not allowed to ferment all the sugars out (which would have made it dry). This is a ruby port – which is kind of obvious because it has the traditional dark red color. The nose has stewed fruit, or raisins and prunes (the good kind). The latter two carry through to the taste, which wasn’t overly sweet (although still too sweet for Anne’s liking). There were some mild acids and a little bit of heat from the alcohol – typical of a good port – and the finish lasted a good long time.

Please tell us what you think.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.