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Port – it’s a winter thing aint it? Like many I’ve sipped on white port cocktails in the spring and drunk chilled, fruity, LBV’s through a straw in the height of the summer. But for us chilled northern hemisphere folk it is the depths of winter when a warming glass of port really comes into its own. It is also a failsafe Christmas gift – how else to explain the profusion of gift packs in John Lewis, the special offers in all the supermarkets and the half bottles slid into those wicker encased food hampers?

Available from Aldi from now until “stocks last” are two ports from Maynard’s “Fine Ports Back to 1652” – an aged tawny and an LBV, which I find ‘rather palatable’ (in that annoying under-stated manner that perplexes most non-English people).

Maynards Port is a ‘revival’ of a Port name, the company only launched the brand in 2010. It is a tribute to a Walter Maynard one of the first English chaps to be “involved in the commercialisation of Port” back in 1652, long before the founding of all those port wine companies with British connections and British names. The company launched with a clear objective: “to stand for prestige and quality and to be known as a premium producer”.

I’m rather taken with the Maynard 10 Year Old Tawny [Adegga / Snooth] it’s amber hue and raisiny, spirity palate stands in nice contrast to the Maynard 2007 Late Bottle Vintage [Adegga / Snooth] with a fuller palate, rich with ripe black fruit flavours and more than a hint of spice and pepper. The dying sun of a winter’s afternoon doesn’t highlight the colour differences in the wines in the two photographs below, I am afraid.

Both these ports are in Aldi – the Maynard’s 10 Year Old Tawny is available for £9.99; the Maynard’s LBV is £8.99. In contrast Tesco is listing Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny at £14.45 on its website and Grahams LBV at £9.25.

It’s winter, innit. Port is required drinking!

Maynard's 10 Year Old Tawny

Maynard's LBV Port

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