Whether it’s red or white, dry or fruity, a nice glass of wine can complement almost any meal. Port wine, on the other hand, is a different story. Fortified with brandy during the fermentation process, port or dessert wine tends to be richer, sweeter and heavier, which often overwhelms whatever it’s paired with. But that shouldn’t scare you off. Port wine is a wonderful thing to experience as a sweet after dinner digestif or a glass all by itself. Regardless if you’re trying port for the first time or already a fan and looking for someplace new, you’ll be in good hands at any of these five establishments.
2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
If you’re looking for a good meal and a delicious glass of port, Pace should be on your list. Not only does it have mouth watering prime rib, wood grilled salmon and a delectable selection of pasta dishes, it has a variety of ports to choose from originating in Portugal, Italy and California. Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port is a genuine port from Portugal. Full bodied with plums, cherries and dark chocolate, it’s a decadent dessert in a glass. Warre’s Otima 10 and 20-year tawny ports are also from Portugal and just as robust and are perfect for first timers.
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45 S. Mentor Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Committed to all things sustainable and organic, Bistro 45 brings you outstanding and beautifully plated appetizers, small and large plates and desserts. From the roasted duck to the autumn vegetable risotto to the apple tart tatin, there’s not a bad selection on the entire menu. And that includes the bubbly and dessert wine and digestif list. While there are many lovely libations listed, it is the Zinfandel Port that holds the charm. Sweet and peppery fruit with hints of oak makes this a perfect dessert by itself or with the chocolate peanut butter terrine.
11647 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
One of the easiest places to find a good port wine is a steakhouse, and one of the better places to get both a good cut of meat and a nice glass of port is Baltaire. With the talent of Chef Travis Strickland and a certified sommelier curating the wine list, you’re certainly going to get the best of both worlds. By the glass, an excellent choice would be the RWC Historic Series Charleston Sercial Madeira, likened to a semi-sweet salted caramel and the Boston Bual with its smoky spice and citrus notes. If you’re going to splurge for a bottle, go for the real deal and get one of the bottles from Portugal.
Augustine Wine Bar
13456 Ventura Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91423
While wine bars are a reliable source for port wine, some collections can leave you disappointed. However, Augustine Wine Bar in Sherman Oaks has a delightful assortment of port wines that range in vintage from a 1927 Cockborn to a 1937 Antonia Jose de Silva, a 1963 Quinta do Noval to a 1977 Taylor Fladgate and a 1983 Graham’s with many others in between. Augustine is cozy and casual with a terrific menu. Whether you stop in for dinner and a glass of port is simply an afterthought or you are looking to share a bottle of 1970 Warre’s over pleasant conversation and the cheese & charcuterie plate, Augustine Wine Bar is everything you’re looking for.
Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese
223 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Of course, there’s no better place to enjoy a fine bottle of port or dessert wine than your own home. Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese has one of the better and broader selections of wine in all of LA. And unlike the large national stores, Larchmont Village chooses their wines based on quality and distinction and not commercial appeal. Here, you’ll find at least 25 different hand selected ports and 16 dessert wines from all over the world. Bottles range from $10 all the way up to $500 for rare and late vintage. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and can be trusted for pairing guidance.
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