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View Full Version : Ports, Tokays and other Fortified Wines.



Josh
2007-Jun-22, 02:29 AM
Are there any wine buffs (or winos) out there who know the differences between certain types of fortified/dessert/liqueur wines?

What is the difference between a port and a tokay (muscadelle)?

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-22, 07:24 AM
From wikipedia:

Port: Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses a higher alcohol content than most other wines. This is caused by the addition of distilled grape spirits (aguardente similar to brandy) to fortify the wine and halt fermentation before all the sugar is converted to alcohol.

It is commonly served after meals as a dessert wine, often with cheese. White and tawny ports are often served as an apéritif. It has an alcohol content of roughly 20%.

Wine with less than 16% ethanol cannot protect itself against spoilage if exposed to air; with an alcohol content of 18% or higher, port wine can safely be stored in wooden casks that 'breathe', thereby permitting the fine aging of port wine.

Tokay: Muscadelle is a white wine grape. It has a simple aroma of grape juice and raisins like grapes of the Muscat family of grapes, but it is unrelated.

In France, it is a minor constituent in the sweet wines of Bordeaux, such as those of Sauternes and Barsac. It rarely makes up more than 10% of the blend, which is dominated by Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Throughout the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century, plantings of the grape were falling.

In Australia, where it is known as Tokay, the grape is used to make an increasingly popular unblended sweet wine. Those made in the Rutherglen region generally receive considerable aging in hot cellars, leading to a maderised and oxidative character.

The name, Tokay, convinced some Australian producers that the grape was Pinot Gris (which is called Tokay by producers in Alsace). Others thought the grape might have been Hárslevelű, one of the components of the famous Hungarian sweet wine Tokaji. However, it has been proven that Australian Tokay is Muscadelle.


Personally, the only wine i drink comes in a big cardboard box...

Stuart van Onselen
2007-Jun-22, 08:33 AM
Personally, the only wine i drink comes in a big cardboard box...

Ahh! Chateu Cardboard, I know it well. ;)

Josh
2007-Jun-23, 12:54 AM
Thanks Damien,

I read the wikis on ports and tokays. Other than regional considerations it seems that a Tokay can be a Port? Which is why I'm asking. There are so many varied interests on BAUT, I thought some of us here might be on the way to connoisseurdom.

grant hutchison
2007-Jun-23, 01:29 AM
You're talking about Liqueur Tokay, which is an Australian fortified wine, yes? (Up here in Europe, the word "Tokay" first brings to mind a sweet white unfortified Hungarian wine, which can be very nice but can be quite nasty.)
I think Liqueur Tokay doesn't have much overlap with port: firstly, there's the regional thing as you say, with port being necessarily produced in a specific region of Portugal*, and Liqueur Tokay being (I think) uniquely Australian; then there are the grape varieties, with Liqueur Tokay being produced from Muscadelle, and ports coming from a whole slew of mixed vines, according to the custom and taste of the producer; then there's the fortification process, with Liqueur Tokay using grape spirit and port using brandy; then there's the business of bottle ageing, with many ports "designed" to mature in the bottle, but Liqueur Tokay being unaffected by bottle ageing (I've just found out this last one from my wine encyclopaedia :)).
So I think they're pretty different things.

Grant Hutchison

*Note: On consideration, I confess it's probably a European thing to insist that port must come from the Douro valley; I think there are "ports" produced in Australia and South Africa, perhaps elsewhere too. I don't know much about them, but I think the essential thing is that they're produced in the same way as the traditional Douro ports, and so would still be different from Liqueur Tokay in the ways I've mentioned.

Josh
2007-Jun-23, 02:28 AM
Thanks Grant! And yes, Liqueur Tokay. After a longish Bourbon investigation (Makers Mark tops the lot for me), I've just started out on my Fortified Wine journey. So far, I have a one Port and few Tokays (all Australian produced) that taste very similar in terms of that underlying raisiny taste and their stickiness. Which is why i had the question.

Thanks for breaking it down like that.

danscope
2007-Jun-23, 04:31 AM
Ahh! Chateu Cardboard, I know it well. ;)

Cardboard box? ....Aye! You were lucky to have a cardboard box.
Best we could do was a gallon jug of Thunderbird wine, but it were wine to us.
******
(Up speaks another Yourkshire man...)
You were lucky to have Thunderbird wine! Why there were 14 of us with nothin but two bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry hill ! We had to get up i the morning and drink last night's left over , go to mill, work till sundown, drag our selves to package store and beg for more.....
" You were lucky. We had to drink purple passion. Yep. There were 27 of us
at frathouse. We had to chip in and buy a plastic trashcan and mix it ourselves.......Burned with a fine blue flame!"
etc etc....

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-23, 05:26 AM
Ahh! Chateu Cardboard, I know it well. ;)

yes, good stuff:lol:

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-23, 05:27 AM
Cardboard box? ....Aye! You were lucky to have a cardboard box.
Best we could do was a gallon jug of Thunderbird wine, but it were wine to us.
******
(Up speaks another Yourkshire man...)
You were lucky to have Thunderbird wine! Why there were 14 of us with nothin but two bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry hill ! We had to get up i the morning and drink last night's left over , go to mill, work till sundown, drag our selves to package store and beg for more.....
" You were lucky. We had to drink purple passion. Yep. There were 27 of us
at frathouse. We had to chip in and buy a plastic trashcan and mix it ourselves.......Burned with a fine blue flame!"
etc etc....

You tell that to the kids today, and they won't believe you

All: No, no they won't

Stuart van Onselen
2007-Jun-23, 05:33 PM
Do the Yanks and Brits also get that very special blend, Chateu Carboard sans Cardboard? That is, wine sold in just the friggin' mylar bag.

Or is that reserved for South African drunks only?

danscope
2007-Jun-24, 08:00 PM
Hi, Actually, We can get a pretty good Merlot in the box for about $16 which keeps on giving. They are welcomed on a boat ( no breakage ) and you never introduce AIR ( arch villain of keeping wine ) into the container.
Good to the last drop. Making a sauce??? Draw a little Merlot from the box and Bob's your uncle. As a convenient dispenser for wine, this device is superb.
Now, I'll admit that it isn't Chateau Rothchild or Puilly Fuisse ,but it serves quite well. Great fun at parties. Nudge, nudge.
Best regards, Dan

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-25, 08:08 AM
Do the Yanks and Brits also get that very special blend, Chateu Carboard sans Cardboard? That is, wine sold in just the friggin' mylar bag.

Or is that reserved for South African drunks only?

:lol: i think they keep that for South Africa

Fazor
2007-Jun-25, 02:16 PM
Boxed white zinf... nectar of the gods, 'tis! O' cardboard vessle of sweet ambrosia!

...or not. But still lasts longer and get more for the buck in the box. I don't drink as much wine as I use to, but we use to get the boxed variety. We generally go for the cheap stuff anyway. $12 for a bottle is considered fancy in my house.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jun-25, 08:11 PM
Impressive knowledge there Damien. Amazing coincidence that I had a bit of something like that for the first time Saturday night. To be honest, I didn't like it at all - but then I do not like sweet wines.

I don't drink much wine anymore, but honey has a couple glasses most every evening. And Chateau Cardboard Mylar it is.

There just is not enough of a difference for non-experts like us to spend more than that. A friend of mine who is very knowledgeable on such things confirms this for me saying the average person really need not be concerned with price; that all but the very worst out there is good.

danscope
2007-Jun-26, 04:44 AM
And then....there was "Two Buck Chuck " !!!! An urban legend . :)

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-26, 09:55 AM
Impressive knowledge there Damien. Amazing coincidence that I had a bit of something like that for the first time Saturday night. To be honest, I didn't like it at all - but then I do not like sweet wines.

I don't drink much wine anymore, but honey has a couple glasses most every evening. And Chateau Cardboard Mylar it is.

There just is not enough of a difference for non-experts like us to spend more than that. A friend of mine who is very knowledgeable on such things confirms this for me saying the average person really need not be concerned with price; that all but the very worst out there is good.

Actualy i got that from wikipedia, but i do know a bit about non fortified wines, mostly from reading a massive australian wine book that my dad has but never read, it's a bit dated know but it helps you get the basics of the differences between styles (like semmilon and reisling, both of which are called reisling in Australia)

And i was joking about chateau cardboard, my wine tases are a bit wider than just that, unfortunately my budget however is not

Jakenorrish
2007-Jun-26, 10:09 AM
I bought a bottle of champagne last week for the first time! I've drunk it many times in the past, but never when it came from my wallet! It was a satisfying experience, but not one I'm going to repeat in a hurry as like many of you guys, £5 for a bottle of wine is enough in my book. There are many good cheap south american tipples I indulge in.....

I have tried port, but it was late one evening and I was 'tired' so don't remember it!

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-26, 10:14 AM
I bought a bottle of champagne last week for the first time! I've drunk it many times in the past, but never when it came from my wallet! It was a satisfying experience, but not one I'm going to repeat in a hurry as like many of you guys, 5 for a bottle of wine is enough in my book. There are many good cheap south american tipples I indulge in.....

I have tried port, but it was late one evening and I was 'tired' so don't remember it!

hehe, reminds me of my first and last experience with straight gin, lets just say it came out the same end as it went in...

Josh
2007-Jun-26, 11:04 AM
hehe, reminds me of my first and last experience with straight gin, lets just say it came out the same end as it went in...

I sincerely hope you're talking about your mouth!

Just to let you all know, Buller Fine Old Tokay is a pretty good drop.

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-26, 11:11 AM
I sincerely hope you're talking about your mouth!

Just to let you all know, Buller Fine Old Tokay is a pretty good drop.

:sick: i can't imagine how drunk you would have to be to attempt to drink though somewhere other than your mouth

Buller, eh? Is that from the Mt Buller region, or just similar naming with no relation? Might have to have a look for it.

Josh
2007-Jun-26, 11:15 AM
From thier site (www.buller.com.au) ... Their vineyards are in Rutherglen and Beverford in Victoria. The family name is Buller.

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-26, 11:30 AM
From thier site (www.buller.com.au) ... Their vineyards are in Rutherglen and Beverford in Victoria. The family name is Buller.

Looks like they make some pretty good product, just from looking at their awards, though of course they are not the be all and end all

Lord Jubjub
2007-Jun-27, 01:09 AM
:sick: i can't imagine how drunk you would have to be to attempt to drink through somewhere other than your mouth.

Well, supposedly, breathing it in through your nose can get you drunk without the hangover. Google AWOL (alcohol without liquid).

As for the remaining way to ingest alcohol. . .:whistle:. . .I've been told it's a very fast way to get drunk and that trying that method when drunk could easily result in death since absorption is so fast.:sad:

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-27, 07:16 AM
Well, supposedly, breathing it in through your nose can get you drunk without the hangover. Google AWOL (alcohol without liquid).

As for the remaining way to ingest alcohol. . .:whistle:. . .I've been told it's a very fast way to get drunk and that trying that method when drunk could easily result in death since absorption is so fast.:sad:

okay, fine, other than your mouth, nostrils or directly into your bloodstream i can't think of any other even slightly sane way to take alcohol

And yes, i am fully aware that injecting alcohol directly into your bloodstream is quite an insane thing to do

Now, get back on topic!

Stuart van Onselen
2007-Jun-27, 11:34 AM
No, you're still not getting it - they're not talking about directly injecting into the bloodstream. Actually something more scatalogical... ;)

Fazor
2007-Jun-27, 01:51 PM
Well, supposedly, breathing it in through your nose can get you drunk without the hangover. Google AWOL (alcohol without liquid).

As for the remaining way to ingest alcohol. . .:whistle:. . .I've been told it's a very fast way to get drunk and that trying that method when drunk could easily result in death since absorption is so fast.:sad:

BadScience, methinks. AFAIK (I'm no expert on human body processes or anything), as your body works to flush out the alcohol from your bloodstream (liver), it causes the body to flush out a lot of your water aswell (why you pee so much when you're drinking heavily). A hangover is really the effects of dehydration (among other things).

The idea is proably that the act of drinking all that liquid is what makes you urinate so much and causes the dehydration. But i'd think if you took the liquid away but not the alcohol, you'd actually make dehydration worse.

That's my [not so] invisible gnome anyway, feel free to prove me wrong.

Maksutov
2007-Jun-27, 02:09 PM
While sailing I would keep the Merlot on the right side of the bow.

If anyone asked what kind of wine they would be served, I'd say "a special celestial vintage of Merlot".

But for special occasions I'd keep the wine on the left side of the bow, and when asked the same question, would reply "Port".

Everyone always wound up very happy.

Damien Evans
2007-Jun-27, 02:19 PM
No, you're still not getting it - they're not talking about directly injecting into the bloodstream. Actually something more scatalogical... ;)

:sick:

I really don't want to know

grant hutchison
2007-Jun-27, 04:41 PM
This (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/210573_sherry03ww.html) may well be the story that people are thinking of.

Grant Hutchison

Maksutov
2007-Jun-29, 10:17 AM
In college the Redd Foxx concoction was always a favorite:

Equal parts of Thunderbird and Ripple.

Whaddaya got?

Flapple!