Orange-Chocolate Port

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As I mentioned in the introduction, while looking back through my notes on the orange-chocolate port I discovered a second page and saw that I made two versions. As you can see on the label, it is a “Dark Orange-Chocolate Port” — the “dark” color is from red grape concentrate. I made it twice — 2007 and 2008 — and the 2007 is what Martin served us. There are two ways to make the “Dark” and I will mention both.

Back in 2007 I had a can of Zinfandel concentrate which I used in several wines to add color and a vinous quality (body) to non-grape wines. After opening the can I poured the leftover concentrate into a whiskey bottle and kept it in the refrigerator. Late, after using more of it, I moved the remainder to a smaller bottle to control the ullage. By 2008 the cup or so that remained had oxidized and I used Welch’s 100% Red Grape Juice Frozen Concentrate instead. The batch made with the Zinfandel was superior to the one made with the Welch’s, although it too was very good. The recipe below simply states, “red grape concentrate”. You can use either kind — a varietal or a frozen concentrate.

  • 2 cans frozen orange juice concentrate, no pulp
  • 2 pounds sugar
  • 11 fluid ounces red grape concentrate
  • 4 dry ounces (by weight) unsweetened Dutched cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid (or acid blend)
  • 1/4 level teaspoon powdered grape tannin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon orange extract
  • water to raise volume to one gallon
  • Montrachet, Champagne or any wine yeast with a 12-15% alcohol by volume range
  • Napoleon (or any other) brandy (you must calculate the volume needed)

Thaw orange concentrate and pour into a primary with a 1-gallon mark. Add sugar, red grape concentrate, acid, tannin powder, yeast nutrient, and 2 quarts hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved and top up to 1-gallon mark. At this point, use a hydrometer to measure your specific gravity and WRITE IT DOWN! Allow to cool to 95 degrees or cooler and place 2 cups of must in a blender. Turn blender on to slowest speed and add cocoa powder 1 tablespoon at a time. When all 4 ounces are well blended, stir into primary. Pitch activated dry yeast and cover the primary with a clean towel, muslin or plastic wrap. Stir 2-4 times daily until vigorous fermentation subsides (usually in 5 to 10 days).

Rack or transfer to 4-liter secondary (1-gallon secondary if you do not have a 4-liter one), top up only to the bottom of the neck of the secondary and attach an airlock. During next day or two cocoa powder will rise with air bubbles to neck of secondary. Use a small spoon, butter knife or other instrument to remove as much as you can. Repeat as required (usually only once is sufficient).

In 3 weeks, prepare a Bentonite slurry according to the manufacturer’s instructions; this usually takes several hours. When slurry is completely liquefied and cool, rack wine into clean secondary, shake or stir Bentonite slurry to agitate, and add about 2 tablespoons to wine. Stir wine well, attach airlock, and stir again every 6-8 hours for 2 days. Let rest until wine clears and then wait 2 more days. Rack, top up and reattach airlock. In 60 days, rack again, measure the specific gravity and WRITE IT DOWN! Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of orange extract. Based on starting specific gravity and finished specific gravity, calculate alcohol content (see first link immediately following this recipe). Now calculate how much brandy you will need to add to bring wine up to 20% alcohol (see second link immediately following this recipe). Add brandy (you may have to move wine to a larger container to accommodate the addition of the brandy). Stir and bottle immediately. Wait at least 6 months before tasting. [Jack Keller’s own recipe]

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