In 30 years of contributing to Decanter, this is without doubt the most self-indulgent article I have ever had the good fortune to write.
I want my case of 12 Ports to last longer than the 12 days of Christmas and into the better part of the next year, or longer if I’m thinking about cellaring something special for the future. As well as fireside drinking this winter, I’m already thinking ahead to the lazy days of summer, when I want to bide my time with a glass of cool tawny in the garden. Then there’s that most wonderful of aperitifs: white Port and tonic or Portonic.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for Richard Mayson’s perfect Port picks
Port, so often associated with the winter months, is very much a drink for all seasons.
The following is a personal selection of some of the best and most innovative Ports I’ve had the pleasure to taste over the past year or so. My choice covers the entire style spectrum (and most of the price spectrum), though I do admit to a penchant for suave, aged colheitas and tawnies. One of the great advantages of these wood-aged styles is you can keep a bottle open to the air and help yourself to a glass over weeks, even months.
All the wines in my perfect case are available to buy now, and there’s a great wine here for nearly every occasion – that’s the beauty of Port.