If you haven’t already heard about the newest site for Port and Madeira geeks, check out Roy Hersh’s For the Love of Port. The name is cute, but the site is very serious about the fortifieds of Portugal and Madeira.
I first heard about Roy several years ago when he showed up as the Portolover on Robin Garr’s Wine Lovers’ Discussion Group. I’ve always liked Port and, being a value-conscious guy, always liked how cheap it is relative to other great, ageworthy wines. I could tell immediately that Roy’s knowledge would be a good thing for me. I loved reading his notes of legendary Ports, but I got more buying advice from his acumen for finding great Port deals. Madeira too, which I’ve only come to try and begin to appreciate based largely on Roy’s enthusiasm.
As he lives in Washington, I’ve had a few opportunities to meet and taste with Roy here in the Portland area. The first meeting alone blew my mind. It was at Magnum Madness a three years ago where he brought a 1935 Sandeman Vintage Port. What a generous gift and delicious wine, light ruby colored, fragrant and deep aromatically and elegant, with a silky texture and a lovely fruit and nut flavor, tobacco…that’s enough. This was a hallmark wine for me, and yet it wasn’t a truly blockbuster Port. So what, such is the greatness of wine and the kindness of strangers.
Roy is now hosting trips to Portugal – the next in late October – with Mario Ferreria, who has an extensive background in Port. The weeklong jaunts aren’t cheap, but then again I don’t doubt that it will be the Port week of your life. Actually, the itinerary alone could make your liver hurt. But if you’re a Portolover, or think now’s the time to become one, go for it.