Cruz With Me Baby
I know the colours of Port wine are Ruby red, Tawny and Straw white, so when I saw a bottle of Pink Port, I was surprised. And curious. As I sidled up to the bar (I was at the Discovery Tasting of Port and Douro Wines, so the bar was a tasting table) I was handed a glass of Porto Cruz Pink. It was served cold, which is different from other Ports. It smelled sweet like candied fruit, raspberries maybe, and honey. It also tasted sweet and mildly fruity with a slight medicinal taste that reminded me of taking penicillin as a wee child. Some coolers have the same flavour profile. The medicinal side isn’t overpowering and it isn’t unpleasant, but I wouldn’t choose to drink it straight when there are options like mixed drinks.
The Cruz Diamond, a blend of the Port, club soda and a slice of orange over ice, makes this wine sing, as does Cruz Pink, which has tonic and ice. There are a lot of cocktails that could include Cruz Pink instead of vodka to add a kick (but not such a hefty one) and complexity to the likes of cranberry juice. This is where it excels.
I had to ask how they made it pink, as its source is the same Douro grapes as the rest of their line of Ports. I was told that skin contact is kept to a minimum but after that, the process is the same.
Ten million bottles of Cruz Pink have been sold world-wide so far. Porto Cruz, a company established in 1887, is trying hard to catch the attention of younger drinkers with this product, which makes perfect sense from a marketing perspective. As long as these drinkers eventually grow out of their short-pants pink and into more sophisticated colours like red, tawny and white.