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What type of port wine do I use for a roasted duck recipe?

michaelnrdx May 16, 2010 08:13 PM

I'm thinking of trying the roasted duck legs smothered with cherries recipe from the SF Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market cookbook, and the recipe involves a port reduction sauce, but didn't specify what port to use. Do I use a tawny or ruby port, and how good does it have to be? Is there anything suitable that I can get from Trader Joe's? Today, I saw that they carried a ruby and tawny port (no age specified) for about $8, a 10 year tawny port for about $15, and a vintage one for about $40. I definitely want to keep the cost down, but need to find something usable for the recipe.

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  1. d
    dinwiddie RE: michaelnrdx May 17, 2010 06:15 AM

    An inexpensive ruby port will be fine.

    1. v
      Vinthropologie RE: michaelnrdx May 17, 2010 07:14 AM

      I've used Whisker's Blake Tawny Port, which is fairly inexpensive, in reduction sauces and have had good luck. Given it will be in a reduction sauce (with some additional ingredients?) you don't want anything too expensive as you aren't looking for pure flavors and aromas. Personally, I'd try the $8 tawny that you found at TJ's.

      1. carswell RE: michaelnrdx May 17, 2010 12:43 PM

        Cherry would work better with ruby port's red fruit than with tawny port's nutty toffee, which isn't to say that tawny would be bad. Inexpensive is fine for cooking; the not-too-sweet Quinta do Infantado is my go-to brand. And ruby ports are never vintage dated, at least that I've seen.

        5 Replies
        1. re: carswell
          zin1953 RE: carswell May 17, 2010 04:51 PM

          Agreed. Definitely RUBY!

          BTW, according to more than one methodology of classification, Vintage Porto is a type of Ruby Porto . . .

          1. re: zin1953
            michaelnrdx RE: zin1953 May 18, 2010 12:37 AM

            I checked again at TJ's, and the $8-$15 port wines are from Quarles Harris. Does anyone know if they're good?

            1. re: michaelnrdx
              zin1953 RE: michaelnrdx May 18, 2010 08:33 AM

              The short answer is "yes." Just get the least expensive Ruby . . .

          2. re: carswell
            Vinthropologie RE: carswell May 18, 2010 09:40 AM

            Thanks for the ruby description! this is good to know.

            1. re: Vinthropologie
              theperfectcookie RE: Vinthropologie May 23, 2010 12:15 AM

              Interesting. Will try ruby ports for some of my recipes similar to the cherry duck next time.

          3. kaysyrahsyrah RE: michaelnrdx May 24, 2010 08:19 AM

            I suggest borrowing some port from a friend or considering a workaround such as red wine and a bit of sugar.

            Unless you plan on drinking the rest of the bottle, even $8 is a very expensive one-time ingredient.

            5 Replies
            1. re: kaysyrahsyrah
              michaelnrdx RE: kaysyrahsyrah May 24, 2010 08:23 PM

              I plan on keeping the port for other recipes.

              1. re: michaelnrdx
                invinotheresverde RE: michaelnrdx May 24, 2010 08:40 PM

                Do you plan on using it in under two months, absolute max?

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  michaelnrdx RE: invinotheresverde May 24, 2010 10:09 PM

                  I thought fortified wines last longer. But if need be, I will use it up before it spoils.

                  1. re: michaelnrdx
                    invinotheresverde RE: michaelnrdx May 25, 2010 08:54 AM

                    Ports do last longer than table wines, just not as long as most people think.

                  2. re: invinotheresverde
                    jmoryl RE: invinotheresverde May 25, 2010 08:04 AM

                    Some ruby ports are quite nice to drink, you know? You might just try a glass or two if cooking doesn't use it up fast enough (I'd say a month or two).

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