Memorial Day weekend we visited my in-laws in Napa. Napa is not a bad place to have relatives. Julie and Walter have lived in Napa for over 22 years. The very first winery they visited was Prager Port Works. They’ve been loyal drinkers ever since.
We visit Prager just about every time we’re there and usually manage to “taste” a bottle of ruby when we get back to their house. Prager Port Works is a quaint family owned winery, that reminds me of what Napa was like in the early ’80’s when I was in culinary school, before the snobby, touristy, mega-wineries took over Hwy 29. Every square inch of the tasting room is covered in money, a tradition John’s dad started when he first opened the winery. Now, there is currency from all over the world, stapled on every surface. John started a new wall for me where I pinned a What A Girl Eats dollar bill. If you’re ever in Napa, stop by Prager (Facebook link) and see if you can find my dollar.
I asked my brother-in-law, Walter, whom I affectionately call my “wine guru“, to ask if we could video John Prager for What A Girl Eats. Even though I took a class in “Specialty Wines”, I had never tasted a white port before. Here’s my Prager Port Works Tour with John about how port is made and what to serve it with. (Hint…it’s not just for after dinner with cigars!)
Here’s a general rule about wines. People usually serve white wines too cold and red wines to warm. If a white wine is too cold, your palate won’t taste all the flavors and undertones. (Which, if you’re drinking crappy wine, probably isn’t a bad thing) But if you want to feel and taste every part of the wine, it needs to be at the right temperature. The Aria white port should be stored at cellar temperature, about 56 degrees F. according to John Prager. The white port should be served slightly chilled to bring out all the soft tones. I could really taste the hazelnut finish in this wine, which by the way, had my head spinning about a hazelnut dessert that I am going to experiment with this summer and link to Prager, if I like it. Back home I paired the slightly chilled Aria port with some crusty bread and nutty, buttery, cheddar.
T Nelson says
I found Prager in the fall of 2008 and look forward to my member shipments. I have shared their Ports with my friends and people are always completely blown away by the Aria. What a nice buttery flavor and then the hazelnut finish comes after a brief delay and then it appears on your palate – it add’s such pleasure to the whole experience. Enjoyed your article!
Glad you liked it! I’m working on a dessert with hazelnuts that will hopefully compliment it. Follow me on facebook…we play with food there!