News & Insights

Have a Very Vintage Christmas

27th October 2021. By William McNab

There is nothing quite like a bottle of port at Christmas, preferably paired with a perfectly ripe stilton and a roaring fire whilst the snow comes down outside. If you are looking for something a little special to look forward to this year, there is a fantastic selection coming up in our Fine Wine and Whisky Sale on 17th December. The sale will include a collection of twenty bottles of 1963 Vintage Cockburn’s and twenty bottles of 1963 Vintage Taylor’s, sold in two lots.  

Auctions offer the chance to experience really good vintage port at a fraction of the cost of the equivalent bottle at retail, whether you are looking for a single bottle to drink now or a case to stash away for the future. As a comparison, a bottle of Cockburn’s 1963 Vintage Port would cost £250 plus at retail, but at auction would likely cost £100 to £150 (hammer price).

Much of the port that comes through the specialist sales at Tennants was given to the vendors as presents, often for their Christening, and as a result there is often a wide range of bottles of port to choose from. Look out for bottles from the leading port houses, such as Taylor’s, Dow’s and Cockburn’s, and for exceptional vintages made when perfect conditions during the growing seasons resulted in especially fine port. Good pre-1950s vintages are particularly sought after at auction but appear rarely, so look out for bottles from great years such as 1963, 1966, 1970, 1977 and 1994. If in doubt, do get in contact with Tennants and I will be happy to help you find the perfect bottle.

Once you have secured your port, it is important to store it correctly if you are not drinking it straight away or have bought a case. Like wine, port should be stored on its side to ensure the cork does not dry out and shrink letting in air and spoiling the precious liquid. Keep it somewhere cool and most importantly away from light, and it will keep you warm for Christmases to come.


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