The night was no longer young. Guests had had their fill of white and red table wines. The hostess at A-Prentice suggested it was time to open a port. This was to be a useful signal to attendees that the evening was drawing to an end. We had sorted out a small election to choose from, and after one wine that was rather a disaster, it was prudent to open a more respected label.
The chosen wine was the 1975 Sandeman Vintage Port. Not by any means the grandest port house, and indeed deemed secondary level by many aficionados. And the vintage, 1975, a sound, but hardly spectacular year. For those who knew very little, it was an interesting, if not exciting wine, at a venerable 41 years old. Some of the guests had not been born at that time, and other only had vague memories of childhood. Others were in the flush of youth. But for those in the know about port wine, the signs were not auspicious for a great bottle.
Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sure enough, opening the wine, it was very pale. Rose and light orange hues. But on palate the most delicate and delightful ethereal perfumes. Florals and subtle notes of sweet red fruits. A little raisin too. The palate very light and ethereal in flavours. But positive in line and length, with a seducing sweetness. The wine very smooth flowing with a very soft core, and just enough acid to ensure tension. Delicious in the most refined and elegant way. It would disappoint those with a disposition for heavy or hearty. We were all pleased with it.