Category Archives: Fortified Wine

AG Pick: Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal

And now for something sweet: the Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal 2009, a fortified wine from Portugal. Aromatic and rich with citrus and nutty flavors, it is a decadent post-dinner drink.

Bacalhoa Moscatel de SetubalAs indicated by its name, the wine was made entirely from the Moscatel de Setúbal grape. Fermentation was stopped early by the addition of aguardente (a neutral spirit made from grapes, similar to brandy), which preserved the sugar while raising the alcohol content. The wine spent time aging in small used oak casks.

Golden amber in color, the Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal has aromas of orange blossom, dried fruits and toasted almond. The taste is sweet without being cloying, with flavors of dried apricot, fig and plum layered with toffee, hazelnut, caramel and black tea. The texture is silky smooth, with good acidity keeping each sip fresh and bright. The finish is long and lingering, with warm notes of lemon and candied orange peel.

The Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal should be served slightly chilled (50 to 55 °F or 10 to 12 °C), making it perfect for the warmer summer months. And with a price tag of less than $20 a bottle, you won’t feel guilty indulging in a glass on a weeknight.

Enjoy the Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal with crème caramel, dark chocolate or ripe strawberries, or on its own as a digestif. Add a lemon peel and it’s a delicious apéritif.

$15, 17.5% alcohol by volume

White Wines | Red Wines | More Under $20

Croft Pink: A Port for Mixing

By Robin Alix Austin

How do you make a centuries-old fortified wine new again? You mix it up!

Introducing Croft Pink Porto, a port that, in addition to being the world’s first rosé port, was crafted to be mixed.

“We want people to be rebellious,” said Robert Bower, brand manager for the Fladgate Partnership. Robert shared a taste of Croft Pink during his visit to Atlanta for the High Museum Wine Auction.

While the idea of mixing port in cocktails may make port purists clutch their pérolas (that’s pearls in Portuguese), Robert hopes that Croft Pink will get Millennials to see the Portuguese fortified wine in a new way.

“We want to break the tradition of port being the after dinner drink with the armchair.”

Croft Pink also serves as an introduction to the many styles of port. From port cocktails it’s not too far of a jump to ruby, tawny, vintage port and beyond.

Just as with rosé wine, Croft Pink gets its pink color from the grape juice’s short exposure to grape skins – 12 hours to be precise. From there it undergoes a seven day cold fermentation which preserves the fresh fruit flavors. A neutral grape spirit is added, and the fortified wine spends one year in casks. Croft Pink is 19.5% alcohol by volume.

Croft Pink is sweeter than most port because it is intended to be diluted. On its own, Croft Pink has cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors. When you add club soda, lemon and ice, it becomes the perfect summer drink.

Croft Pink is delicious with a seemingly unlimited combination of alcoholic and nonalcoholic mixers. Try one of the cocktail recipes below, or create your own and share it on Croft Pink’s Facebook page.

The Fladgate Partnership includes Croft, Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca.

Pink Diamond

1 part Croft Pink
1 part soda water
lemon wedge
ice

Fill a highball glass with ice and add Croft Pink and soda water. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and stir. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Bubbles and Pink

3 oz. chilled Croft Pink
4 oz. Champagne or Prosecco
½ oz. Cointreau
2 dashes of bitters
lemon twist for garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a Champagne flute. Stir gently and add lemon twist garnish.

Croft Sangria

24 oz. Croft Pink
3 oz. amber rum
6 oz. fresh orange juice
3 oz. fresh lemon juice
1½ oz. simple syrup

Combine ingredients into a pitcher and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with slices of apples, oranges, lemon or other seasonal fruits.

Sunset

2 oz. Croft Pink
1 oz. Gin
2 dashes orange bitters
3 oz. ginger beer
mint sprig and seasonal fruit for garnish
ice

Fill a highball glass with ice and add the ingredients. Stir briefly and add garnishes.

Visit www.croftpink.com for more cocktail recipes.

pineau des charentes

Pineau des Charentes: Aperitif of Cognac

Pineau des Charentes is a sweet fortified wine produced in the Charente and Charente-Maritime departments in France. It is a blend of Cognac and grape juice that is most often enjoyed as an aperitif.

The juice comes from grapes that are used to make wine. For white Pineau, grapes including Ugni Blanc, Colombard or Folle Blanche may be used; for red Pineau it may be Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The high alcohol content of the Cognac prevents the grape juice from fermenting.

In its most basic form, Pineau is made by combining approximately 25% Cognac (eau de vie that has aged for at least one year in oak barrels), and 75% grape juice. The blend is then aged for at least 12 months. From the Comité National du Pineau des Charentes:

“Pineau des Charentes is exclusively aged in oak barrels. White Pineau ages for at least 18 months, including 12 in barrel. Red and rosé Pineau are aged for 12 months, including eight in oak. This ageing is a very important part of the winemaking process, and gives Pineau des Charentes its characteristic vanilla and nutty flavour.”

From there, Pineau can vary greatly among producers. Some may blend an older Cognac with the grape juice, and some may let the Pineau age in oak barrels for five or more years.

The taste of Pineau is sweeter than wine, with a pleasant and full mouthfeel. The acidity and alcohol prevent it from being too syrupy. Pineau that has spent more time aging in barrels tends to be more complex in flavor.

Pineau ranges in alcohol from 16 to 22 percent.

Pineau should be served chilled and in a tulip-shaped glass. It is commonly served as an aperitif, though it can complement a range of foods and desserts. Pineau may also be used in cocktails.

For more information on Pineau des Charentes including serving suggestions visit the website for the Comité National du Pineau des Charentes.