We challenged our dear friend, and food blogger, AGirlInTheSouth, to create a perfect dessert for this Portuguese style port ~ and boy, did she deliver!
When it comes to ports, it is not often I find one that hits the mark for me. I am not a fan of ports that are overly sweet, or have heavy brandy taste. I prefer my port smooth and well balanced ~ one that can be enjoyed on its own as well as with a tasty dessert. Heitz Ink Grade Port nails it.
The first time we tasted the Heitz port was a few years ago while visiting the tasting room in Napa. I don’t know who was more surprised… me, because I actually liked it or Jeff, because I put a big smiley face on my tasting notes (our indicator that we want to buy). After just two sips I knew we weren’t leaving without at least a bottle.
The Ink Grade Port is a traditional Portuguese style port. They produce this wine from eight Portuguese varieties, which is unique in the Napa area as most produce dessert wines from the traditional dry red varieties (zin, cab, grenache). This is a rich, full bodied port with flavors of dark berry and hints of plum. We also detected notes of caramel. It has a perfect balance of flavors and a sweetness that never goes over the top.
We recently opened our bottle to share with Jeff’s parents. We mistakenly paired this with a slice of apple pie. It did not do the port (or the pie) any justice. So… we turned to the expert. I’ve known Terri, food blogger at AGirlInTheSouth, since I was 5. As she has noted in her blog, I’ve got a lot of dirt on that girl…so I knew she had to steer us right. This port needed a rich, gooey, chocolate dessert, and we challenged her to find that perfect pairing. No worries of telling any childhood secrets, she more than delivered!
Now, I like to cook, but I have never really been a great baker ~ that measuring thing. Not only did Terri find an excellent pairing, she found a recipe this novice baker could pull together quite easily. The bread pudding and port created what Terri accurately called a “divine dessert”.
The Ink Grade Port runs about $20 for a split, and is also available in 750ml for $35. It is available to purchase directly through Heitz, and at various wine shops. Pick up a bottle, and check out the recipe at AGirlInTheSouth ~ the pairing truly is divine!