A distinctive Black Doris Plum Port, rich and full-bodied with honey and almond characteristics.
Distilled using our own fruit wines with a Portuguese Copper Still.
I hate to be the one to break the run of "Perfect 10s" but I have to be honest about this - I am not a Port drinker. So, while I enjoyed the small sampler nips I have had, it's not something I would drink... however, in cooking, it is astounding!
Initially, after receiving the sample bottle, I rushed home and use it to make a reduction - with some finely diced thyme and some garlic butter - to pour over the stunning Venison I was also reviewing. Since then, I have used it in place of red wine in a bolognese and was delighted to discover that added an extra depth of flavour unmatched by anything mere wine could impart. On a hunch, I put some into a small pot along with a generous dollop of honey and reduced it down a bit, then added some dark cooking chocolate and reduced it further to a sweet syrup, which I then drizzled over some peach slices and ice-cream. A-ma-zing!
Having learned a lot about how this is made - the people behind this range are very friendly and forthcoming with information about the products - I can tell you that this product has more than process behind it, it has passion. An example of craftmanship at it's Kiwi best, this is a beverage that those who enjoy drinking it will adore, and those who don't drink port will still find to be an excellent addition to their pantry. It is versatile, has an amazing depth of flavour, and is sure to impress even the snobbiest aficionado.
Well I got so excited to see a port on the list of things to review so was quick to put my name down.
For my husband and I our alcohol drink of choice is port - however it needs to be Portuguese port to make it into our house. We spent a bit of time in Porto (Portugal) in port houses when we were younger and took a liking to port. We learnt about the process and have continued to buy. Since arriving back in NZ we have tried ports from other countries however nothing compares to Portuguese port. So we wait for friends to go oversees for them to top up our supply through duty free
I first tried Ruahine port at the home show and remember saying to Damon (co-owner) it is going to have to be something pretty special for me to buy a bottle. Well I tried a sample of the blackcurrant and walked away with a bottle.
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review the Plump Pheasant Plum and got really excited as had limited my tastings at the show. At $45 a bottle this is relevant to what I would pay for a bottle of port so was keen to see if it was just as good. Well it's not Portuguese (but then again it is made from different fruit) but the taste was great. Both my husband and I were surprised by the fruitful flavour and the linger it left in the mouth. We were sold!!
Although I would not normally use a $45 bottle of nice port in cooking I thought I had better try something different but did not want to loose the taste. I decided to poach a pear in red port. There were many recipes on the internet that seem to add the same ingredients. I decided not to use a whole bottle of port as most recipes had (what a waste) but decided to limit my recipe to one pear and a lot less port. It was great with a little vanilla cream however can see how more port would have been better.
So I no longer have to wait for friends to top up my Portuguese port supply from duty free - I can buy something different, the Plump Pheasant Plum Port which is New Zealand made and although not what we are use to - just as pleasant to drink. Ruahine Ports have definitely hit a market. If any of their other fruit ports are as good at the Plum then I am keen to try. Would love to try the fejioa and see if this is a port that could be drunk cold in summer like we did white port in Portugal.
I developed a taste for Port whilst in Portugal and continued drinking it for many years whilst in England. Having had the occasional bottle in New Zealand it fell of the radar when I started buying sherry, brandy and rum for Christmas baking and then partaking in the remainder of the bottles over the year so when I saw this bottle of port available to review I thought ummmm!
Well I am really glad I decided to apply because this Ruahine Plum Port is rather nice and very drinkable. I have been supping a glass or two at night as has my husband. We both agree that this port is really nice. Is is very smooth and has a very full distinct taste that just leaves you feeling like you have had a particularly full and sweet red wine. In fact hubby said he far preferred the taste of this over red wine and wondered if we shouldn't just always have a bottle of this because we don't have to drink a whole bottle at once, you can just drink a little over a period of time. That very fact means that although this costs $45 a bottle it is money well spent in that the bottle doesn't spoil within a day or two of opening like a good bottle of wine.
I will be using this in some Christmas baking as I think this would be lovely to soak Christmas fruit in for the Christmas cake instead of sherry and would be nice in the plum pudding. I definitely prefer the taste of this Port to sherry.
I would definitely buy this again and would recommend it. Our bottle came in a nice cardboard carry case which would be nice when used as a gift. Maybe a good stocking filler or gift for Christmas.
I first tried a little taste of Ruahine Plump Pheasant Plum Port at the Great NZ Food Show at Mystery Creek recently. After that taste, I was delighted to be given a bottle from KIWIreviews to review.
After the very important initial taste of the port to check it out, I decided I would allocate some of the bottle to playing around with food in the kitchen. A huge part of me didn't want to do that as I enjoyed the taste of drinking it just the way it was. I think that in order to do justice to reviewing it, I should trying it in a few different ways.
I added a little of the port to some mushrooms I was cooking to go with a nice piece of steak. It made the mushrooms very tender and ensured that they didn't dry out. I think that to enhance the flavour of the port in the mushrooms, next time I would allow it all to sit for a while to marinate before cooking. I am always in a hurry when preparing family meals, so this is unlikely and dreams are free. I certainly couldn't complain about the flavour I created in a quick, easy manner anyway!
My next creation was a rather quick one too but absolutely worthwhile. I made some homemade pasta (my first attempt) and it took ages to create. I needed to find a quick option for a sauce as I hadn't thought about what to add to the pasta during the chaos of creating it. My sauce consisted of a tin of tomatoes, two cloves of garlic and some mushrooms. I thought that it could do with something else, so I added a dollop of this port to it and then blended it all with my trust stick blender. The whole family loved it. It was a lovely velvety taste and wasn't too rich like it would have been if I had just added some cheap wine. I am so glad that I sacrificed some of the port for this dinner. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
My husband and I have only recently started to enjoy an occasional port together in the evening. Since we have had this bottle in our house, the instances of port drinking have gone up. We have both really enjoyed the flavour and body that this port has presented to us.
I see from the Ruahine Ports website that a great way to enjoy this port is with a hand blown port sipper. I can just imagine my husband and I sitting around after the kids have gone to bed with a port sipper. It would be such a novel way to end the day and possibly worth considering for the future!
I enjoyed reading about the port and the Ruahine Ports team. It is always nice to know that I am supporting real people in our own country when choosing products to consume.
Although this port is $45, I understand, from talking to friends, that in order to get a good port, you need to spend at least $40. Having this knowledge at hand when judging the price of the Ruahine Plump Pheasant Plum Port, I think that it is quite reasonably priced.
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