Port for cooking?
I have a recipe that calls for Port. Does anyone have a recommendation of a port that would be easy to find, and be good for cooking? We probably wouldn't drink it, just use it for cooking. Thank you in advance! mary
Unless the recipe, or my take on it, calls for something else (there is Port, then Port, then... ) I just use a bottle of less-expensive Ruby. How will the Port be incorporated into the recipe. I might move up the line a bit, if I am doing a reduction, without too much else, but then would probably stop short of an LBV, unless I plan on drinking it with the meal, or just afterwards.
If you want "true" Port flavors, grab an inexpensive bottle of Ruby Porto -- "true" Porto from Portugal, something like Dow's Graham's, Sandeman's, etc.
If "close enough" is good enough, just grab a bottle of Gallo Port from the Livingston or Sheffield labels.
Unless you are pouring the whole bottle into the recipe, you will probably want to buy a port that will repay some drinking, either while you're cooking or after the meal (perhaps with some stinky blue cheese?).
The two cheapest and tastiest ports that I know of are (1) Kopke's ruby port (around $13) or (2) Warre's Warrior (under $10).
Kopke's port is light, fruity and devoid of any sharp edges or bitterness. Very good if you are not sure you actually like port.
Warre's Warrior is a Reserve Port (or a Vintage Character Port), meaning that it has gotten a little bit more barrel aging and is thus more substantial. I'm drinking some as I write this, in fact. It's a little syrupy but also quite tasty in a fat-cherry-pie sort of way. It's got good spicy notes and a chocolatey finish. Remarkable for the price.
I've just written about some more Reserve Ports here, if you are interested...
re: Matthew Sullivan
I do agree with you on not using something that I am not likely to drink, just for cooking. For Port, I usually do the Sandeman's Founder's Reserve, or the Graham's 6 Grape. Both are decent Rubies, and the price point is not bad. I have several of the Kopke VP's, but have not tried their Ruby. I am not a big fan of Warrior, but that is just personal tastes.
I do the same with my red wine for cooking, using either the Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Zin, or the Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zin-blend. Also, they do fine, should I have a glass, or two, while cooking, and the price does not break the Hunt bank. Both will hold up in the cellar for a few years, so I pick up a case of either, when they are on sale in PHX, and cook with them, plus drink a few sips, while standing over the range.