This month’s Imbibe takes a stab at introducing a rarely covered but juicy topic in the world of potent potables: port.
Exploring the fortified wine’s link with the British Navy (almost all the serious port manufacturers are joint British-Portuguese concerns), its origins in the Douro River valley appellation, its interesting varieties (anybody care for a spot of white port?) and crazy-ass grape stomping parties, the Imbibe piece goes a long way to providing a comprehensive overview of one of the finest of the after-dinner tipples.
In an effort to illustrate one of the aforementioned grape parties, the piece also provides a photograph that is less-than-appetizing food for thought.
A swarthy Portuguese fellow, wearing a Cosby sweater, boxer shorts, and nothing else, stomps up and down in a vat of grapes. As he locks eyes with the camera lens, his expression conveys the following sentiment: “Yes, I put my hairy balls in your beverage. So what of it?”
What of it, indeed. For Americans are notoriously uptight about keeping nature out of our food (no loose dirt, twigs, bones, mucous membranes, etc.), even at the expense of keeping nature out of our food (mixing in preservatives, trans fats, monounglodginated this, polybisorbinated that).
In that light, port is a charming throwback to the days when folks made food and beverages straight from the heart—and/or the underpants—and you just rolled with the tangy-but-delicious punches.