Dessert/Fortified Wines Descriptions

Cockburn's Fine Ruby

Fortified wine imported from Portugal. Cockburn's was founded in 1815. Robust, dark fruity wine. Ruby ports are a blend of young and vibrant wines that are aged an average three years in seasoned oak barrels before they are blended, filtered, and bottled ready to drink. Aromas of cherry and raspberry. Soft, fruity flavors. Serve with cheese and rich chocolate desserts. A Silver Medal winner at the 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition.


Cockburn's Fine Tawny

Tawny (aged) port imported from Portugal. Cockburn's Fine Tawny offers a balance of fruitiness of young wines and nuttiness derived from maturation in seasoned oak casks. Barrel aged between three and six years. Excellent with dried fruits or creamy desserts. No need to decant, this wine is ready to drink.


Cockburn's Special Reserve Port

Imported fortified wine from Portugal. Special Reserve is a blend of ports with an average age of 4-5 years. Older wines are blended with younger wines to achieve the complex flavor that echoes of dried plums. Off-dry to medium sweet, with a rich mellow texture. Long, dry finish. Pair with aged Stilton cheese, almonds, strawberries or squares of chocolate.


Graham's 10 yr Tawny Port

Tawny port aged in oak casks for 10 years. A soft, round wine balanced by a rich, subtle, mature fruit. ' Pale ruby with a copper hue; caramel and date aromas; The generous entry shows sweet fruit with a good follow-through and well-integrated; a harmonious 10 Year-Old.' 91 PTS BEVERAGE TASTING INSTITUTE and 92 PTS WINE SPECTATOR


Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port

Portuguese port blended from high quality reserve wines, from a range of vintages. Shows some of the characteristics of true vintage port. Rich, full-bodied flavors of black currants, plums, and cherries with an intense, lingering finish. Spends four years in wood vats prior to bottling and is ready to drink when bottled.


Grahams 20 Yr Tawny Port

Aged tawny port from one of the most respected port houses in Portugal. Most of the wines used in the blend are actually 24-25 years old. Aged in seasoned oak barrels. Nutty (almonds) and mature fruit aromas with hints of orange peel. Wine Spectator gives it 93 points (in the Top 100 wines of 2013) and says it has, 'intense flavors of orange cream, glazed apricot, baked peach and roasted pineapple that are balanced by concentrated chocolate and toffee notes.' Pairs well with chocolate, cr�me brulee or blue cheese. Shelf life after opening is 4-6 months.


Graham's Six Grapes Port

Wood-aged port from Portugal. Aged for up to four or five years and ready to drink after bottling. Full-bodied and blended from 2 or 3 years harvest. Soft, rich and fruity. Aromas of cream, berries and vanilla. Flavors of blackberry, pear and coffee. Sweet blackberry finish. Gold medal winner at the 1997 International Wine Challenge.


Sandeman Ruby Port

Ruby red port imported from Portugal. The House of Sandeman was founded in 1790 in London. A blend of wines from three or four different years, ranging from three to seven years old. Red port wines that are fruity are blended with more mature wines for depth of flavor and character. Young, robust and rich. Good served after dinner with nuts or Stilton cheese.


Sandeman 20 yr Tawny Port

A blended tawny port imported from Oporto, Portugal in which the average age of the ports used for the blend is 20 years old. Imported by the House of Sandeman which was founded in 1790 in London. Aged in oak casks during which it acquires its golden tawny color. Deep amber color. Aromas of caramel, hazelnut, blackberry jam and plums. Flavors of elderberries, cocao and cake. Ready to serve when bottled and will hold its flavor for one month after opening. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a **** (highly recommended) rating. Serve with Stilton cheese and nuts at the end of the meal or as an aperitif.


Sandeman Tawny Port

Fortified wine imported from Portugal. Warm mahogany color. A blend of wines that can range in age from three to five years old. These wines mature quickly and lose their ruby red color to become a tawny port. Mellow, fruity taste and fresh, youthful finish. Can be served slightly chilled as an aperitif or at room temperature as an after dinner drink.


Sandeman Founders Reserve Port

Ruby port that is a blend of ports ranging in age from four to six years that are usually rich and full-bodied. Deep ruby color. Aromas of black pepper and flavors of vanilla, nuts and pears. Very balanced. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.


Taylor 10yr Tawny Port

Tawny port imported from Portugal. A blend of full-bodied red ports that have been aged in wood for an average of ten years. Ports of age are blended for freshness, balance and continuity of style. As the port ages it loses its fruit qualities and gains nutty characteristics. Russet color with flavors of fruits and nuts. Crisp finish. Serve with cheeses, nuts and desserts based on nuts, caramel, coffee and chocolate. Ready to drink.


Taylor L.B.V. 1990 Porto

Ruby port imported from Portugal. Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman were the creators of the late-bottled vintage wine. Originally conceived as an alternative to more expensive and often hard to find vintage ports. LBV is lighter, less complex, and less concentrated than vintage port. Aged in cask from four to six years, It is ready to drink,requires no decanting and has a longer shelf life once uncorked that a mature vintage port. Serve with full-flavored cheeses, nuts or as an after dinner drink.


Taylor 20yr Tawny Port

Tawny port imported from Portugal. A blend of full-bodied vintage quality red ports that are aged in the cask rather than bottles like vintage ports. Tawny ports of age are blended for freshness, balance and continuity of style and the age shown is an average age of the ports blended. Tawny/brown/red color. Dry aromas of herbs, citrus, and black tea. Hints of fruit underly nutty, caramel flavors. Nice balanced finish. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating. Ready to drink and good with cheeses, nuts and desserts.


Warre's LBV Port

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) is a port of one harvest and of particularly good quality. Aged for four years before bottling and another nine years in the bottle. Aromas of berry fruit, plums, fruit cake, and chocolate. Smooth and balanced with a silken texture. Winner of the silver medal at the 1997 San Francisco Fair International Wine Competition. Ready to drink. Will require decanting before drinking to remove sediment.


Warre's Otima 10 Yr Tawny Port

Aged 10 year old tawny port from the Duoro Valley of Portugal. A lighter style of Port. Light tawny color. Aromas of dried fruits and walnuts. Flavors of nuts and mature fruit with dense caramel and walnut notes. Long, fresh finish. Does not need decanting. Ready to drink. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Named Best Fortified Wine by 'Decanter' magazine for March 2000 and 'Wine & Spirits International' for February 2000.


Warre's Otima 20 Yr. Tawny Port

A blend of tawny ports aged a full twenty years in seasoned oak casks imported from Portugal. Copper color with soft nutty aromas. Rich, delicate, balanced. Serve straight up as an aperitif or after dinner drink.


Warre's Warrior Port

The oldest brand of port in the world. Warre & Co. was founded in 1670. Deep ruby color. Fresh, fruity nose. Flavors of vanilla, cherry, spice and plum with some tanin.


Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry

The best selling imported sherry in the U.S. Produced in the Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera. A blend of solera-aged sherry, fino, amontillado and cream sherries. Deep golden-brown color. Creamy, nutty flavors with intense nutty aftertaste. Serve as an aperitif or on-the-rocks with a twist or wedge of lime.


Savory & James Amontillado Shy

Amontillado style (medium-bodied and dry to off-dry) sherry imported from Spain.


Savory & James Cream Sherry

Cream sherry imported from Spain. Cream sherry, also known as Amoroso, is usually darker, more full-bodied and sweeter than dry or fino sherries.


W & H Dry Sack Sherry

Medium dry sherry produced and bottled in Spain. Known by the heavy cloth bag that it is shipped in. May be served over ice or in various cocktails.


Blandy's 10 Year Malmsey

Fortified wine imported from the island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. Blandy's is the last family owned winery on the island. The 10 year Malmsey is aged for ten years in American oak in the traditional Canteiro system where the wine is gently heated in the lofts of the winery's lodge and over the years is transferred from the top to the middle and eventually to the ground floor where it is cooler. Clear, dark brown color. Intense, complex bouquet of wood, dried fruits, toffee and spices. Full-bodied with lingering smoky characteristics. Sweet, fresh and smooth. Serve lightly chilled in the summer. Pairs well with cr�me brulee, fruit, chocolate and cheeses.


Blandy's Rainwater

Fortified wine imported from the island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. Blandy's is the last family owned winery on the island. Blandy's Rainwater is transferred to 'estufa' tanks where the wine undergoes a cyclic heating and cooling process over a period of three months. Then, it is aged in American oak barrels for three years. Medium-dry, pale Madeira that can be served chilled before a meal or at room temperature with dessert. Unlike table wine, Madeira will keep for several months after opening, so a bottle can be enjoyed on more than one occasion.


Sandeman Fine Rich Madeira

Sweet, viscous and deeply flavored fortified wine from the island of Madeira which is off the coast of Morocco. Similar to port in texture and taste but can range from somewhat dry to very sweet. This Madeira is slightly sweet, tangy, perfumed and well balanced.


Florio Marsala Dry

Fortified wine (which means that brandy has been added) imported from Sicily, Italy. The grapes used are left on the vines for an extended period so that they provide a very sweet juice for the base wine, though the 'dry' marsala is less sweet than the 'sweet' marsala. This is a 'Fine' marsala which means that it has been aged in wood for at least four months. Hints of vanilla and raisins.Most often used in cooking in such dishes as veal or chicken marsala or serve as an aperitif.


Florio Marsala Sweet

Fortified wine (which means that brandy has been added to the wine) imported from Sicily, Italy. The grapes are left on the vine for an extended period to produce a heavy, sweet juice for marsala's base wine. This is sweeter than the 'dry' marsala. Flavors of dates and apricots. Most often used in cooking such dishes as veal or chicken marsala but is also delicious as an after-dinner wine.


ISC Port

Ruby port made in America. Robust with intense cherry and cassis flavors. Serve as an after dinner drink.


Taylor Port

Domestic port made in New York state. Semi-sweet, full-bodied, ruby port. May be served on-the-rocks or at room temperature, with soda or a twist. Good with dessert or for sipping.


Taylor Tawny Port

Domestic tawny port made in New York state. Lighter and drier than regular (ruby) port. May be served on-the-rocks or at room temperature.


Taylor Cooking Sherry

A blend of premium New York state sherries. No added salt (many cooking sherries have added salt and are quite salty tasting).


Taylor Cream Sherry

Domestic (made in New York) cream sherry. Full-bodied, semi-sweet sherry with a slightly nutty flavor. Can be served on the rocks or at room temperature. A good dessert or after dinner sherry.


Sheffield Cellars V Dry Sherry

Very dry domestic sherry from Sheffield Cellars which is owned by Gallo. A very dry sherry is less sweet, paler and lighter than other sherries and has a nutty, yeasty flavor. Good served chilled as an aperitif.


Taylor Dry Sherry

Dry sherry made in the U.S (New York state). Honey color. A crisp, dry sherry with a hint of nuts. Can be served chilled or on the rocks, with a twist or with soda. Good as a before dinner cocktail.


Cribari Marsala

Fortified wine made in California. A robust wine that adds a unique, nutty flavor to chicken or veal dishes such as veal marsala. One of the most popular wines used in cooking. Marsala has a brownish, honey color and flavors of dried fruits such as raisins, plums, prunes and fig.


Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif

Aperitif made in the U.S. A wine-based beverage created in 1846 by a French wine merchant. It is still made according to the original family recipe which consists of wine and a blend of herbs and spices that are infused into the wine to create a flavor that is not too sweet and not too dry. Cranberry/tawny color. Tart nose with aromas of grapes and fruit. Fresh and clean flavors with notes of cranberry and fruit. Sweet and sour finish. Good served chilled, on the rocks, or with club soda and a slice of orange.


G & D Marsala

Fortified wine from Gambarelli and Davitto of California. Robust wine that adds a unique flavor to chicken or veal dishes such as veal marsala. One of the most popular wines used in cooking. Marsala has a brownish, honey color and flavors of dried fruits such as raisins, plums, prunes and fig.


Paul Masson Madiera

Madeira style fortified wine (somewhat similar to port) made in the U.S. Made from fermented grape juice and brandy. Can be served before dinner as an aperitif or in veal and chicken recipes.


Sheffield Cellars Marsala

Fortified wine from California. Robust wine that adds a unique flavor to chicken or veal dishes such as veal marsala. One of the most popular wines used in cooking. Marsala has a brownish, honey color and flavors of dried fruits such as raisins, plums, prunes and fig. Can also be served as an aperitif or slightly chilled with hearty, spicy cheeses.


Lillet Blanc Aperitif

Aperitif imported from France. White-wine appearance. Aromas of quinine, minerals, wine and citrus. Flavors of dry wine, citrus and spice. Rrefreshing finish. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.


Lustau 'Los Acros' Amontillado Sherry

Medium-bodied, dry sherry imported from Spain. Brilliant orange/amber color. Flavors of Brazil nut and citrus. The 'Wine Enthusiast' gives it 87 points and considers it a Best Buy. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it ***. Serve slightly chilled with food.


Pedro Romero Medium Dry Amontillado

Medium Dry Amontillado sherry imported from Spain. The Romero family has been producing sherry since 1860. Nutty and round. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled during the meal or as a dessert wine.

Cinzano Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth imported from Italy. Pale straw color. Earthy, off-dry nose. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.


Di Padrino Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth imported from Italy. Di Padrino means 'the godfather.' Made in Torino from wine produced in Southern Italy, using a 50 year old family recipe containing a unique blend of herbs and spices. Made in the traditional method without any added sweeteners or artificial coloring. Pale yellow color with herbal, spicy aromas. The flavor has delicate notes of fruit with a dry, herbal finish. Use in a classic Martini cocktail. Or, shake 3 parts white rum with � part Di Padrino Dry Vermouth and ice, strain into a cocktail glass for a 'Havana Club.'


Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth

Fortified wine from Italy that is distilled with a combination of more than 30 herbs and spices including sage, coriander, allspice and Roman comomile. Dry vermouth means that it is not sweet and fortified means that brandy has been added to it. Used as an ingredient in many cocktails, the most well known being the Martini. Also used in many cooking recipes. It is shelf stable and can be stored without refrigeration for up to a year.


Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth imported from France. Pale slightly yellow color. Aromas of juniper, thyme and laurel. Dry, clean, and refreshing taste. Light wine and herb finish. Good as an aperitif. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a **** (highly recommended) rating.


Stock Extra Dry Vermouth

Imported dry vermouth from Italy. Pale color. Fruity aromas. Tart, crisp flavors. Good for mixing.


Carpano Antica

Sweet vermouth imported from Italy. Made from Carpano Distillery's 'ancient formula' for sweet vermouth, first produced in 1786 by Antonio Benedetto Carpano. It is distinguished from other sweet vermouths by its hint of vanilla flavor and aroma. The label and bottle are copies of the originals from the 18th century, including the cork and red seal. Drink alone as an aperitif or in classic cocktails such as a Manhattan or Negroni.


Cinzano Rosso Vermouth

Sweet vermouth imported from Italy. Dark tawny/brown color. Aromas of grapes and bitters. Flavors of grapes, roots, quinine, and citrus. The finish has flavors of orange and pink grapefruit. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.


Di Padrino Ross Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth imported from Italy. Di Padrino means 'the godfather.' Made in Torino from wine produced in Southern Italy, using a 50 year old family recipe containing a unique blend of herbs and spices. Made in the traditional method without any added sweeteners or artificial coloring. Burnt red color with aromatic herbal notes on the nose. Slightly sweet flavor, fruit forward with an herbal finish. Serve in a classic Manhattan or Negroni, or, simply serve over ice.


M&R Martini Rosato

Aperitif imported from Italy. Rosato is a blend of red and white wines, using light Mediterranean aromatics (flavorings) such as citrus fruits, crisp raspberry, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fresh, fruity flavors of lemon and raspberry followed by deep, balanced, spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg yielding a delicate, yet complex, taste. Mix 3 parts Martini Rosato with 1 part pomegranate juice and top with a wedge of fresh fruit; or, mix 1 part Rosato with 2 parts Proseco, serve over ice in a sparkling wine glass and garnish with a fresh raspberry for a 'Martini Royal.'


Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth

Fortified wine from Italy that is distilled with a combination of more than 30 herbs and spices including sage, coriander, allspice, and Roman camomile. Used as an ingredient in many cocktails, the most well known being the Manhattan. Sweet vermouth is red in color. It is fortified with brandy making it a higher proof than unfortified wines. Also used in many cooking recipes. Vermouth has a stable shelf life and can be stored for up to a year without refrigeration.


Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth imported from France. Brown/russet color. Aromas of spices, minerals, prunes, and quinine. Moderately sweet and wine-like. A good aperitif. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended rating).


Stock Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth imported from Italy. Mahogany color. Aromas of herbs, roots and spices. Flavors of herbs and spices. Not fruity. Moderately viscous. Good served on the rocks or as a mixer. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** or recommended rating.


Gambarelli & Davitto Dry

Domestic dry (not sweet) white vermouth. Vermouth is a fortified wine made from wine, spirits, herbs and spices. Used as an ingredient in many cocktails the most well known being the Martini. Also used in many cooking recipes. Can be stored, without refrigeration, for up to a year.


Tribuno Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth made in the U.S. Pale straw color. Sweet aromas of ripe grapes, pine needles, and spearmint. Sweet for an 'extra dry'. Grapy flavors. Good for mixing.


Gambarelli & Davitto Sweet

Domestic sweet red vermouth. Used as an ingredient in many cocktails the most well known being the Manhattan which combines sweet vermouth and whiskey. Vermouth is an aromatized wine which means that spices, herbs and spirits have been added to the wine. Does not require refrigeration.


Gallo Sweet Vermouth

Sweet red vermouth from one of sthe largest producers of wine in the world. Vermouth is a wine base to which various herbs, spices, fruit peels, roots or flowers have been added. This mixture is then combined with spirits to fortify it. Sweet vermouth is used in a multitude of cocktails, the most well known being the Manhattan, and also for cooking.


Tribuno Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth made in the U.S. Brown color. Candied nose of ripe peaches. A good mixer.

 


 

                     

Descriptions are not available for all items yet. Check back later for more.


Some of the above descriptions are based on information in the following sources:

  • Kindred Spirits by F. Paul Pacult. Hyperion, New York, New York, 1997.
  • Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch by Michael Jackson. Dorling Kindersky Limited, London and Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1989-91.

Contact Information

Vermont Department of Liquor Control
13 Green Mountain Drive
Montpelier VT 05620-4501
Phone: 802-828-2345
Toll Free in Vermont: 800-642-3134
Fax: 802-828-2803

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