WRITTEN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
I love my work, although there are occasions when my comments have a way of giving me a nip in my behind. Like the time I ridiculed the seemingly preposterous suggestion that an expensive wine glass would improve the taste of the wine. The glass maker read my column during a rare visit to Philadelphia, invited me to compare his glassware against the cheaper varieties I champion, and as a consequence I appeared to have egg all over my face. I accepted defeat (but didn’t actually say so to his face).
So when one’s comments and opinions are written and broadcast for all to hear and see, one must be prepared to defend one’s opinions with an iron fisted defiance. A few years ago in this very column I wrote some rather kind words about Graham’s Port. I shared my recent liaison with a bottle of Graham’s 20-year-old Tawny which cost around $40 in our area at the time (closer to $60 now). I also mentioned that W. & J. Graham’s has been producing ports for more than 170 years and in 1970 the Royal Family of port — The Symington Family — acquired Graham’s.
Their Empire includes Warre, Dow’s, and Smith Woodhouse. The 20-year-old is absolute heaven — or to be more specific, whatever your imagination of heaven is, quadruple it, and that’s Graham’s 20-year-old.
Anyway, not long after the column appeared, the joint managing director of Graham’s, Rupert Symington, invited me to meet him in Philly to quaff some more of his amazing elixir. Rupert was here to host a port tasting in the recently refurbished Wine & Spirits Shoppe in Bryn Mawr at the behest of then PLCB Chairman Jonathan Newman. Educated in Britain and living in Portugal gives an elegant and eloquent demeanor to a man who has the type of ambassadorial role I could comfortably fit into. I fear that I quaffed rather more than Rupert and managed to deplete a healthy portion of the bottle during our conversation. Port is easy to drink and as you know, I will not spend more than $10 on a bottle, but if somebody else is paying then I’m happy to enjoy as much as possible!
Rupert agreed that port is becoming a trendy drink, having shed its reputation as the tipple for old geezers sitting around a fire. I still drink port at room temperature, but maybe 10 minutes in the fridge would make it even yummier. It’s the only wine which I tend to treat with traditional sensibilities.
A glass of this wine with some seriously delicious dark chocolate is an admirable libation, so be devilish, and find a bottle of one of Symington’s ports (which fits your bank account) and cool it down for some sensuous slurping.
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears appears regularly in Ticket. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining