Lipsmacking Liquor for Lovers of Liquorice – Don PX Toro de Albalá Reserva 1983

“Highsmith is telling an X-rated story. Woolf squeals, Kramer hits his leg like he’s giddying-up a horse. Glasses of treacly Pedro Ximénez arrive, alongside scoops of Limoncello sorbet. Highsmith reaches her punchline (no chance that’s making it into print).”

Rebecca Watson describing her fantasy dinner in The Financial Times, March 2022

A few weeks ago I was invited to dinner by a neighbour in our village. The food was sublime and included a brilliant dish of quails stuffed with figs but a most intriguing sweet wine was served with the cheese.

It was a Don PX Toro de Albalá Reserva 1983.

The Spanish winery which produces it is situated in an old power station in Aguilar. This particular. This particular sweet wine is made from Pedro Ximénez grapes, and it’s one of the most popular they produce, matured for at least 25 years in American oak.

It’s dark and syrupy with a strong taste which was well up to the Stilton it was served with (any Irish blue cheese would also be good) but which would also go well on vanilla ice cream. And it also goes down well, as Rebecca Watson suggests in the quote above, with a lemon sorbet.

You can get it at Ralph’s Wines Online, whose owner, Ralph Smith comments:

“I also think it works with perfectly with Brownies and Chocolate Cheesecake…. indulgence !!!!”

If you like liquorice, other fortified wines you could try would be:

  • Sandeman LBV port 2009 – this Late Bottled Vintage also tastes a little of tobacco and red fruit
  • Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha 1998 – rather special. Described by Victoria Moore as “both elegant and mighty”
This post is dedicated to John Simpson.

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