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been Au Chocolat! for one very good reason…it’s scrumptious and universally liked. But it seems to be meeting its match with the new release, Spanish Nudge; a syrah- based port aged with dark roast coffee beans and whole cinnamon sticks, which offers a taste experience reminiscent of a Spanish coffee. When tasting this wine, Flamenco dancing is optional. About 15 miles to the north from Knipprath Cellars resides Townshend Cellars

in rural Colbert, WA. Owner/winemaker Don Townshend began making port in 1998 when he experimented with various fruit ports and hit a home run with his Huckleberry Port. Now he’s released classic grape variety-based ports with 1999 and 2000 vintages reflecting the fact that he ages his ports for 10 years in the barrel. Te long barrel aging produces a “tawny-like” port with notes of caramel and fig but still providing intense fruit forward dark berry flavors. (Are you salivating yet?) When asked if a botle of Townshend Cellars port wine would make a perfect holiday giſt, Don responds, “Absolutely, but I’m a bit biased.” Biased or not, these babies add flavor and spice to anyone’s winter soiree (or spring fling for that mater). On the other side of the state on Bainbridge Island, Eleven Winery’s Mat Albee

began making port in 2004 because, “I wanted to do something a litle different and besides, I love it. It plays an important role with food as an accompaniment to dessert!” He makes both a white and a red port dessert wine. Albee’s port-style Syrah called Sweet Sarah is named for his wife, Sarah. Albee notes that many people mistakenly say “Sweet Syrah” especially aſter drinking a glass of his dessert wine. To which the winemaker wisely notes she (his wife), “is the sweetest Sarah of all.” Priced at $19 for a 375 ml botle, Sweet Sarah goes with all things chocolate. At Zillah, WA, Paradisos del Sol, winemaker/owner Paul Vandenberg admits

to making ruby port-style wines so my wife (Barbara) has some to go with her dark chocolates. She is a member of the Truffle of the Month club at Intrigue Chocolates and trades wine for chocolates!With what has to be the best named-port style wine anywhere, Vandenberg makes a zinfandel-based port he calls Zort ($25). However, he also produces a cabernet-based port called Port Paradisos ($40) perfect with blackberry pie as well as a white port-style wine with an intriguing name of MRS Angelica ($25). Te MRS part stands for Muscat, Riesling and Semillon and the word Angelica is an authentic American fortified wine style named aſter Los Angeles by Spanish missionary winemakers in the 18th century. Blessed with such a lovely name, MRS Angelica is equally exquisite and a marvelous accompaniment with anything cinnamon or desserts such as crème brulee, cheesecake and flan. In the UK, the military (British Army, RF and Royal Navy) use port as a wine to

toast the Queen at formal dinners. It’s said that Australians use port (or “stickies”) not to toast one another, but to get toasted. In Washington State, port-style wine goes with the good things in life be it friends, a complementary dessert, or sipped by itself perhaps with a dog whose name just happens to be Port.

Steve Roberts is the founder/owner of WineTrails Northwest and author of wine tour guidebooks including the best-selling WineTrails of Washington and his newest book, WineTrails of Walla Walla. Learn more at

photos courtesy of Paradisos del Sol



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