From the year 2010, the words “Port” and “Sherry” will no longer legally be allowed on the labels of fortified wines. Producers of this fine after dinner drop have been phasing the word out and replacing it with the word fortified. Why? Australia has signed a trade agreement with the European Union.
Fortified wines produced in Rutherglen, Victoria are all to have a name change. The fortified wines that will be affected include Tokay, Sherry and Port.
Muscat is Rutherglen’s greatest fortified wine and although not changing its name, now has a four level classification system – Rutherglen, Classic, Grand and Rare – in ascending order of richness, complexity and intensity of flavour. Rutherglen typically consists of wines aged two to five years, Classic, five to ten, Grand 10 to 15 and Rare – usually more than 20 years.
Similarly Tokay has the same classification system as Muscat, as it ages slowly in oak. Tokay is made from Muscadelle – a white grape.
Sherry is changing its name to Aperta. Descriptions of the Sherry are also changing. Fino will be labeled Dry, Amontillado now Medium Dry and Oloroso as Medium Sweet or Sweet. Cream will be Cream Aperas.
We are spared the change in descriptions of Port (to be known simply as “fortified’) the descriptive words Tawny, Ruby and Vintage already commonly in use will remain.
Different names, but same great taste.