Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

#Hashtag Hell, Wine Heaven, and some History: it’s #PortDay! | January 27, 2012

I really appreciate everyone who follows me on twitter.  They are people of substance and good humor.  Either that, or spamming porn stars.  Sometimes, they’re both.  Nothing quite like a spamming porn star with a heart of gold.  I think that was an made-for-TV special once.

My twitter followers have stuck with me through tweets like, “based on the view from a plane, there ain’t shit going on in central Nevada.” and “is there underwear for people with tails?”

But when a Twitter wine tasting comes along, I don’t harbor ill-will if someone wants to unfollow for a bit.  Because it’s gonna be a flurry of #Somewineormarketingmessageadnauseam.

Today is Global #PortDay, and twitter geeks (present company included) will be proclaiming the virtues of Portugal’s legendary fortified wine, Port (named for the city of Oporto in Portugal, so if it’s “Port” that ain’t for Portugal, it ain’t really Port.  It’s just like the “Champagne” thing that gets my underoos in a wad).

Port is most often made from a variety of red grapes, sometimes dozens, but the most notable are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (aka “Tempranillo” in Spain), Tinta Cão, and Tinta Barroca.  The fermenting wine is “fortified” with neutral brandy spirits to stop fermentation, maintaining sweetness while running the alcohol by volume to around 20%.  This was originally done so the wines would be preserved enough to withstand the rigors of boat travel, as Port was extraordinarily popular with the British during Imperial times (in fact, much of the industry was controlled by the Brits).  Now, the fortifying is done because when you want something that is sweet that will get you messed up, Port is WAY better than Southern Comfort.

I hope to crack a bottle of Kopke 1987 Colheita for #PortDay.  I gave this to my wife for Christmas.  And aren’t those the best gifts?  Ones that two people- madly in love- can share?  What better present is there than shared experiences with your life partner?  I have a feeling she’s really going to love her new Julio Jones jersey (size Men’s XL) and Futurama box set I’m getting her for her birthday.

Anyway, a “Colheita” is a single-vintage tawny Port, meaning it was made in the style of all the 10-year, 20-year, 40-year, etc. Ports (which are blends of several years of wine, aged for very long times in oak barrels), but all the grapes in this one were harvested in 1987.  Made me think:  what else was going on in 1987?

[dream sequence]

In the Year 1987:

  • A gallon of gas was $0.95.  Hamsters driving dinky cars used to get beaten up in 1987.  It was a tougher time.  And there was no “Party Rock Anthem” for their dancing pleasure.  Most likely, hamsters in dinky cars were flash-mobbing to Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.
  • Speaking of music, the Billboard top hit of 1987 was George Michael’s “Faith”.  I’m more of a “Careless Whisper” guy myself, but smoky saxophone garners more appreciation now than it did in 1987.
  • Broadcast News won big picture.  Big friggin’ deal.  Most memorable moment of the 1987 Oscars was the tearjerking presentation to Rick Baker for “Best Makeup” in Harry and the Hendersons (one of the few movies where John Lithgow is not typecast as sinister).
  • The average cost of a new home was $127,000.  At least some things stay the same.  Oh, except for that huge housing cost bubble in the mid-2000’s when I bought mine.  
  • In a nail-biter, the Kingpins beat out the Zippers for “best vocal group” on Star Search ’87.
  • Of course you already know this:  the incomparable Jackée Harry won the Emmy for Best Support Actress Role in a Comedy Series for 227.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re some damn good grapes.  

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