The Sandeman Virtual Tasting

Catching up with George Sandeman and Andy Seymour


I'm just back from a sultry and steamy New Orleans. What else would you expect in late July?

I love New Orleans and spent several years of my life there. There is something so very special about a dawn stroll through the French Quarter before the heat of the day turns oppressive and the streets fill with raucous crowds, or in the case of the past week, crowds of hipster mixologists.

Yes, it was that time of the year again. Time for Tales of the Cocktail, the preeminent sprits and cocktails event in the U.S., which draws people from around the globe as they trade secrets, explore new spirits and drink a lot. New Orleans is one of the few cities on earth where drinking and the enjoyment of drink continue to be respected as an art form, a true and essential element of the fabric of the culture. Consider me lucky to have had the chance to be involved in this year's Tales, even if peripherally.

Filmed on location at The Saint Hotel Bar 931 Canal Street, New Orleans
(504) 522-5400

An Introduction: George Sandeman and Founders Reserve

I am a wine guy. Though I have had my boozy moments, I prefer to not think of them too much lest all the wonderful things in life begin to appear as more work. Let me tell you, nothing ruins a good bottle of wine faster than having to treat it as work. Well, other than maybe artichokes, but you get my drift.

So, there I was, back in New Orleans hosting a virtual tasting with George Sandeman of the Sandeman Porto House and mixing drinks with Andy Seymour. We worked on Porto cocktails of all things, and why not? As Andy pointed out, Porto was once a valued ingredient in mixed drinks and what's old is always new again. You just have to be patient and in some cases suspend all logic.

On Choosing the Right Glass for Port

No such hurdle with Andy and his Porto cocktails, they were delicious and serve as a great way to work Port wine into the warmer months. Let's be serious, if you love Port you don't want to limit yourself to enjoying it just a few months of the year.

George was a great guest. We spoke of all things Sandeman and not so, touching on the grapes used in the region and the best glassware to enjoy Porto with. Take a listen and watch us break down Porto the Sandeman way. Fresh, clean, complex, well-balanced and honest. Give a listen to George discussing glassware.

Vau Vintage Port

Vau is a new style of Vintage Port. Softer and more approachable than the classic Sandeman Vintage Port, it's a fascinating wine and one that is full of surprises. It's not made from Touriga Nacional, it doesn't need to age for decades, and as George relates, it is ready for enjoyment whenever you are.

Port From Where?

Want to know more about the Douro, the grape varieties that are used for Porto production and some of the things that make Porto special? When George speaks, just kick back and listen!

10-Year-Old Tawny

Port can be confusing, but not when George is discussing it. Here he explains what Tawny Port is, how it's made, how it differs from other styles of Port, and what the age on every bottle means.

Sandeman 20-Year-Old Tawny

Where many Porto afficiandos end up. 20-year-old Tawnies have a fine balance of fruit and evolved complexity with a texture that can't be beat!

Andy Seymour Shakes Things Up!

Introducing Andy Seymour and his take on Port in cocktails and Founders on the rocks.

The Tawny-tini

Cocktails are only limited by your imagination, so take inspiration from what's been tried and true and make them your own with the addition of Porto. It makes for some downright wonderful and surprising developments!

Bringing It All Home

We wrap things up by talking about how to bring things together, while always featuring some Porto in the middle. Make sure to join the party at #GiveGeorgeaDrink and to enjoy your Sandeman safely, responsibly and often!

Slideshow View

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,084

    The Porto Virtual tasting was an education. George Sandeman is a great speaker. I learned more about Port in one evening than I did in the last several years.

    Jul 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM

  • We and our friends had such a marvelous evening, Greg!! I tend to go for the bold, dry reds and have avoided sweet wines until now, but we really learned a lot about the value of drinking the sweeter variety. Thank you so much for the informative, enjoyable virtual tasting on Port wine-- even the chat comments on the side were wonderful!

    Jul 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

  • Port is the only wine I TRULY enjoy espesilly chilled

    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

  • Snooth User: Bayleigh4
    936101 2

    Some of us don't do video - still photos and a transcript needed please.

    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

  • Snooth User: shsim
    Hand of Snooth
    1032666 1,295

    This was such a great tasting! We had fun enjoying desserts with the ports! I learnt plenty from the tasting, now I am excited to try new Ports. Looking forward to the next VT!

    Jul 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Bill Ruth
    227066 1

    Agree with Bayleigh4, at least a transcript is needed, thanks.

    Jul 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

  • Snooth User: jtryka
    Hand of Snooth
    312799 2,499

    That was a wonderful event, I enjoyed the Founder's Reserve and the 10-year old Tawny with some friends, and we learned a lot and had lot's of fun, including experimenting with some of the cocktail recipes ourselves! Thanks again for putting this tasting on!

    Jul 30, 2012 at 3:56 PM

  • Snooth User: Bayleigh4
    936101 2

    I would love to see a photo of the preferred glassware for port. I would love to learn about Tawny port. But I don't do videos. So I guess I am out of luck. I thought your quick reply ment you had a link to the transcript for me. Maybe next time.

    Jul 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

  • Snooth User: alfadoctor
    1029242 19

    Now this is getting down to the way I would like to learn about wines. I drink several different labels of Port with Sandeman my wife's favorite, and I prefer the more hearty Fonseca Bin17. Nothing better than a large snifter glass of port to wind down an evening. Keep the videos coming!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 3:47 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Thanks all for the great comments. Sorry, I can't pull together a transcript of an hour long interview. I'd love to do it but I just don't have the resources. I'm thrilled at the response to the event and that some of you took the time to share your thoughts with me. Looking forward to the next one!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM

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