Port to pair with Stilton from Cowgirl Creamery.
As a Christmas gift for my parents, I'm considering the gift set of Cowgirl Creamery stilton and a jar of apples in honey (http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/prodin...). I'd like to get them a bottle of port as well, but don't know which types of port pair well with cheese - late bottle vintage? tawny? ruby?
If anybody has any advice or specific recommendations ($50 is about my budget limit, but I'll consider slightly above that price point - Mom and Dad are worth it, right?), I would be very grateful.
I can't say for certain that you'll find these in your budget where you live, but any non-vintage 20 year old tawny port would pair well with the Stilton.
Personally, I like Sandeman; beautiful balance and not overly sweet.
You would be hard-pressed to find a "straight" Ruby or Tawny Porto for $50, even in this economy.
I agree that a 20-Year (or 10-Year, even) Tawny Porto WOULD be an excellent choice. My favorite 20 year Tawny Porto is from A.A. Ferreira, followed by Barros. Really great 10-year Tawnies can be found from Neipoort, Noval, Delaforce, and Barros.
My favorite is the Taylor-Fladgate 20 year Tawny. Now, it's probably right at the top, or just over your price-point. Same for another, the Porto Barros 20 year Tawny.
Note on above: Taylor has walnut notes, while Porto Barros has pecan notes. Both are great, but you might think about what might accompany the Stilton.
If the $ is an issue, then Costco has been having the Taylor-Fladgate 10 year for about US$35. Fonseca is part of the same corporation, but is different enough. Their 10 & 20 year Tawnies should work quite well too.
PS about 5 years back, we recieved a 5 lb. block of this same cheese. We did it with Port at every opportunity. Then we did it in various soups. Then I replaced Gorgonzola in all pasta dishes. Finally, we gave up. There was just too much great Stilton for two people and all of their invitees.
With Stilton cheese (or any Bleu, for that matter) I would definately stay away from anything Tawny! Save that stuff for aged Goudas, Gruyere, and cream-egg custardy deserts. Go LBV if price is a constraint, and look for a bottle labeled "unfiltered" which will indicate that it will continue to mature as time passes. These bottles will also be stopped with a traditional cork rather than a T cork stopper. Smith Woodhouse makes an excellent 1995 LBV that should come in under $50, or search out some of the amazing single quinta vintage ports out there, which are usually about $55-$70, my favorite is Quinto do Vesuvio from the extreme southeast of the Douro. Their isolation alone ensures the wine is shockingly unique, and a no-brainer with rich bleu cheeses. Or alone, in a glass...
I live in Portugal and agree with jdwdeville, LBV or vintage. A 20 year old Tawny is a sweet wine more suited to deserts and also good with mild dry cheese - but over here it would never be served with a strong ceamy cheese. The stronger tanins and full body plus ripe fruit of a good LBV or a vintage will stand up to and compliment the stilton while the tawny will be overpowered by it. I expect you would pay more for your port in the US but a good LBV here costs no more than around USD20.