Holiday Feature


A Dessert Wine

by Fred McMillin

Dessert Wine

In 1800 you conducted your London business in a coffee house if you couldn't afford an office. One table had a budding insurance business. Dunno how it did. It's name was Lloyd's.

Meanwhile, over at Tom's Coffee House on Birchin Lane, young George Sandeman had borrowed 300 pounds sterling from dad, which he used to rent a Port wine storage vault. Ten years later he was virtually master of the Port trade. A frequent visitor at "Iron Duke" Wellington's home, one evening he mentioned the 1797 vintage in his vaults was the finest he had ever known. Wellington's General Calvert bought the equivlent of 1,400 bottles on the spot!

My wine dealer has had a little difficulty getting me the 1797. However, the Sandeman 20-years-in-oak Tawny Port is available, and my hunch is that George would be mighty proud of it, too. (In the London vaults it was served to me with Silton cheese, semi-sweet crackers and lightly- salted nuts.)

The Wine

Sandeman 20-Year-Old Tawny Port
Name—The more common modern name of this type of wine is Oporto; however the historical name, Port, is our choice. Oporto also is the major city at the mouth of the Douro River, which is Port country.
Tawny—As Port ages it turns from purple to dark tan. The first writer to apply the term "tawny" in literature to old Port was none other than Charles Dickens in 1844.
Wood Used to Age Port—Oak
Importer to U.S.A.—Pernod-Ricard, U.S.A., White Plains, New York
Contact—Paul Rogers, Balzac Communications, Napa, CA, Ph. (707) 255-7667.


Oh yes. That 1797 Port that General Calvert bought. Was it really as good as claimed? Well, General Calvert's son discovered 200 dusty bottles of it 80 years later. London wine merchants tasted a sample and immediately bought all the son would sell. Case closed.

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. He also writes a monthly column, On Wine.


Global Holiday Pageant

Great Wines for Great Holidays

The Global Gourmet
The Global Gourmet®
Main Page


Spring Recipes for
Easter & Passover

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share


Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches


Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts
On Wine

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
cooking kids Cooking with Kids
new green basics New Green Basics

Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions

About the
Global Gourmet®
   Contact Info
   Privacy Statement

Recent Cookbooks

Cooking Italian
175 Home Recipes
4-Hour Chef
Bakery Cookbook
Barefoot Contessa
Bouchon Bakery
Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Cake Mix Doctor
Comfort Food
Craft of Coffee
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Daily Cookie
Fifty Shades Chicken
French Slow Cooker
Frontera - Rick Bayless
Gluten-Free Quick & Easy
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Kitchen Science
Lidia's Favorite Recipes
Make-Ahead and Freeze
Modern Milkshakes
Modernist Cuisine
Mystic Cookbook
Paleo Slow Cooking
Picky Palate
Pop Bakery
Practical Paleo
Quick Family Cookbook
Sensational Cookies
Smitten Kitchen
Southern Living Recipes
Sweet Life in Paris
Trader Joe's Vegetarian
True Food
Whole Larder

More Cookbooks


Kitchen & Home


Copyright © 1994-2013,
Forkmedia LLC



cat toysCatnip Toys

Kitchen & Home