Symington Ports – “Top-Tier” vs “Value”

Wednesday, January 26, 7 PM — We are starting 2022 with a Port tasting to provide some inner warmth against the chill of winter.  Symington Is one of the leading Port Houses with a number of top “names” in its portfolio including Graham’s, Warre, Quinta do Vesuvio – all three of which are included in our tasting.  Their portfolio also includes Smith Woodhouse which has always been a value wine with high QPR.  For this event, we have selected three top vintages (’83, ’92, & ’94) which are showing well now, and pitted one of the Symington top tier ‘names’ against the Smith Woodhouse.  And then, for some added fun, there will be a mystery wine for everyone to try and identify.

Further details appear below and you can sign up for this event by clicking on this link.

This will be another Winetasters@Home event, following our usual Google Meet semi-blind tasting format. We are delighted to have renowned local Port (and Madeira) expert and former Winetasters’ President Alan Gardner to lead us through this interesting tasting. With quality vs value and a mystery wine, there should be lots of opportunity for discussion.

We will follow the usual logistics with two pick-up locations, downtown and Avenue Rd and 401.  You will get a box with 2 oz bottles of the seven wines, which will allow two people to taste if they pour carefully, or one person to make a ‘more thorough evaluation’.

The cost of this outstanding tasting package is $145 (HST Included) for members (remember this can be shared between two people) and $190 for non-members (HST Included).

So, mark your calendar for Wednesday, January 26th, at 7 pm.  Oh, and sign up, click here!

More about the event…

Comments on The Houses

Quinta do Vesuvio – Historically one of the very best ‘names’ in Port.  The Symington Group took the plunge and purchased it in 1989.  Despite its remoteness, this has to be the grandest Quinta. Although released most years, quantities can be scarce of this impressive, long-lived wine, which frequently rates among the very best for sheer finesse and depth.

Warre – The oldest British port house.  Cavadinha, high in the Cima Corgo, is one of the most photogenic of all the Quintas – whence the famous Warre floral elegance, complemented by the tiny yields from the other key property, Quinta do Retiro, which is located in the warmer Rio Torto Valley.

Graham’s – Richness and sumptuous character are the hallmarks of Graham.  Tannic and structured they are for the long haul.

Smith Woodhouse – Regarded as always reliable, always very keenly priced, and always cellaring well.  The style is typically generous and forward, perhaps hedonistic. 

Comments on The Vintages: 

1994 – Potentially exceptional year  – very rich but not overripe wines. Structured and harmonious.
            We are comparing Warre’s against the Smith Woodhouse
1992 – Concentrated and tannic – some classics
            We are comparing Quinta do Vesuvio against the Smith Woodhouse
1983 – Another powerful vintage for long aging.
            We are comparing Graham’s against the Smith Woodhouse


While this is a tasting, not a dinner event, for those who do not wish to cook that night, we are working on a charcuterie & dessert option from Vintage Conservatory that can be picked up with the wine.  Details will be available shortly.


The wines will come carefully decanted into seven 2 0z bottles. (enough for two to share, or for one person to make a ‘more thorough evaluation’).  There will also be a tasting sheet for your notes. Beginning at 2 PM on Wednesday, January 26, you will be able to pick up your tasting package either at the downtown location on Lombard St (Queen & Church) or at the uptown location at Avenue Road and 401 (just north of the 401).  Full details will be in the confirmation email.

To Summarize:

Date:  Wednesday, 26th January
Time:  7:00 PM, pick-up from your selected location beginning 2 PM.
Cost:  $145 (incl HST) for members, $190 non-members (incl HST).
Where: Your home, via Google Meet!

Click here  to sign up.