Fall is truly a special time of year. As the sun sets a little earlier each day and the air grows a bit colder, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. First up, Halloween. Remember the good ol’ days? Dressing up in costume? Trick-or-treating? Mischief night? Well, let’s keep those where they belong—back in the good ol’ days! Today’s Halloween calls for a grown-up celebration, and there’s no better way to start than with the “Bin There, Done That,” a refreshing Fall cocktail featuring the distinctive taste of Fonseca Bin 27 Port. This new-fangled drink combines the scrumptious flavor of flavor of reserve Port with that other Autumn favorite, apple. The result is a tantalizing drink that you and your friends are sure to enjoy.
As you bid adieu to the more child-like aspects of Halloween—bobbing for apples and covering the neighbor’s car with shaving cream come to mind—it’s time to begin celebrating the holiday in a grown-up fashion. Why not invite your closest friends over for dinner featuring the tastes of Autumn served alongside this same distinctive Port? And while we are putting aside outdated customs and bringing in new traditions, let’s forget everything we thought we knew about Port and start from scratch. First off, not all Ports benefit from aging after you buy them—so you can drink Bin 27 as soon as you bring it home. Winemaker David Guimaraens is the sixth generation of his family to craft Port under the Fonseca label, and every drop of Bin 27 has been expertly aged in wood for four years, so it’s ready for you and your friends to enjoy.
Second, not all Port is expensive. While there are Ports on the market to suit all budgets, you will find Bin 27 as affordable as it is luscious. Its smooth texture and delicious flavors of black cherry and cassis are as easy on the palate as they are on the wallet.
In fact, Bin 27 is so delectable, you won’t just want to drink it after dinner—you will want to cook with it and enjoy it with your entire meal. We have gone about creating a special Autumn menu using the rich foods of the season and Fonseca Bin 27 Port in each and every dish.
From our earliest days, Halloween is the one holiday that really allows us to indulge our sweet tooth, but you won’t find any candy corn at this party. Fonseca Bin No. 27, like all Port wine, is naturally sweet because of the addition of aguardente, which boosts the alcohol content and keeps the sugar level naturally high. Unlike “fun-sized” chocolate bars collected door-to-door in a plastic pumpkin, the sweetness of Port is definitely an adult treat.
Remember how you used to hide all your best candy from the other kids, so you could have it all to yourself? The Guimaraens family was on to that trick long ago. Fonseca Bin 27 was first created over a century ago, for family consumption only, and they only began selling it commercially in 1972. The Fonseca Bin 27 used adds the characteristic dark fruit flavors Port to each course. Although the first two courses—Pumpkin and Fonseca Bin 27 Soup, and Fonseca Bin 27 Port Braised Duck—are definitely savory, the touch of sweetness leant by the Port in each recipe makes it a perfect pairing with a glass of Port.
Bin 27 will work throughout the entire meal, but for slightly earthier flavors and a change of pace, enjoy a bottle of Fonseca Terra Bella Reserve Porto with your soup and duck. In addition to rich fruit and berry flavors, this 100% organic Port has hints of dried Mediterranean herbs with a dusting of anise and cocoa powder. In fact, it’s the only 100% organic Port in the world. Just like Bin 27, David Guimareans perfectly ages the Terra Bella in wood before bottling, so it’s ready to drink alongside your dinner as soon as you get it through your door.
These original Fonseca Bin 27 recipes serve four, but once your friends find out what you’re planning, the invite list is sure to grow. Both the soup and duck can be doubled or even tripled, and the cake is large enough for everyone to get a slice. When you pick up your pumpkin for making the soup, buy a few small gourds to decorate the table. Use colors of the season— earth tones, amber and orange set the stage for a warm evening on even the coolest Autumn night. Serve your Fonseca Bin 27 and Terra Bella in white wine glasses, the type you would use for Chardonnay. A small glass or snifter won’t do your Port justice; you want all of your guests to be able to swirl the glass, in order to aerate the Port and release the delicate aromas.
Set the mood with a sophisticated playlist of updated and original classics. Have an old-time horror movie playing on the television, with the sound muted, of course. Offer your guests a glass of Fonseca Bin 27 as they come through the door, and make sure they know there are no tricks on hand tonight, only a special treat! Everybody knows that Halloween falls on the last day of October, but somebody better tell the 31st to look out: When it comes time for Halloween, 27 is the new number in town.
Bin There, Done That
A refreshing cranberry-colored cocktail that brings together the traditional flavors of fall—apples, cinnamon, and Fonseca Bin 27 Port.
1 cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port
½ cup Calvados apple brandy
1 ½ cups apple cider
1 ½ cups club soda
¼ cup sugar, for rimming glasses
½ teaspoon cinnamon, for rimming glasses
4 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Add Fonseca Bin 27 Port, Calvados, apple cider, and club soda to a glass pitcher, and stir well.
To rim glasses: Mix sugar and cinnamon together on a small plate. Pour a small amount of water on a second plate, turn a tall glass rim-side down into the water, remove, and then press into cinnamon sugar. Remove and turn upright, repeating with all four glasses.
Add ice cubes to each glass, just past the halfway mark, taking care to keep cinnamon sugar rim intact. Pour an equal amount of Bin There, Done That into each glass, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and serve. Makes four cocktails.
Port Braised Duck and Apples
For the duck:
3 duck legs, thighs attached
1 medium-sized red onion
2 medium-sized apples
1 cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port
1 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon dried sage
For the mashed potatoes and celery root:
4 medium-sized or 6 small red potatoes
½ small celery root
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the duck: In a room temperature high-side skillet or chef’s pan, place duck legs skin side down, and turn on heat to high intensity. When fat begins to sizzle, lower flame to medium-low intensity, and cover pan. Check occasionally to make sure duck is not burning; cook for 45 minutes, then turn duck legs so that skin side is up, and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
While duck is cooking, peel and halve the onion, then dice. Peel, core, and halve one apple; then dice apple. Peel the parsnip, and cut in half lengthwise, and then into ¼ inch slices. Set all aside.
Core second apple, and cut into eight slices, without peeling. Set on a small plate in the refrigerator.
When duck is cooked, remove from pan with tongs, place on platter or cutting board. Pour off about half of the duck fat, replace pan on flame, and turn to medium-high. Add onion to pan, fry until softened, about four minutes, stirring frequently. Salt lightly. Stir in parsnips and apples. Add chicken stock to pan, and allow to come to boil, stirring occasionally. Add Bin 27 Port to pan, allow to come to boil, lower heat, and cook over low-medium flame until reduced in half.
When duck legs are cool enough to handle, remove duck meat from bone using your fingers and a fork. You may need to use a paring knife in some spots. Shred duck meat with a fork. After chicken stock and Port have reduced, add shredded duck to pan. Sprinkle cracked black pepper and sage into pan, stirring. Cover and simmer over low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scrub potatoes and celery root under cold running water. Peel celery root using a vegetable peeler; use a pairing knife to trim off ends and knots. Cut in half. Set one half aside for another use. Cut the half you are using into 4-6 pieces, and place in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 15 minutes.
Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on size. Do not peel potatoes. Add potatoes to pot of boiling water, but do not remove celery root at this time. Bring back to a rolling boil, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes and celery root are fork tender.
Place milk and butter into glass measuring cup; heat in microwave for about 30 seconds. Continue in 10-second increments until butter is liquefied and milk is steaming.
Drain potatoes and celery root, place in large mixing bowl. Begin mashing with hand masher, adding milk-butter mixture in small increments. Lightly salt and pepper, and continue mashing until uniform consistency is achieved. For this recipe, slightly stiff mashed potatoes with a small lumps work well.
Assembly: Place a 3 ½ inch biscuit cutter in the center of each plate. Using a plastic spatula or wooden spoon, fill halfway with mashed potato and celery root, smoothing out the top. Using a slotted spoon, fill to top with Port braised duck. Carefully remove ring in a single upward motion. With a teaspoon, drizzle a little of the hot Port sauce around the outside of the plate. Garnish each plate with two apple slices. Serves four.
Pair with Fonseca Bin 27 Port or Fonseca Terra Bella Porto.
Try these Fonseca Bin 27 autumn-inspired recipes!
Pumpkin and Fonseca Bin 27 Port Soup
1 medium pumpkin, about 4 pounds, destemmed, halved and seeded
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3½ cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
½ cup heavy cream, plus 2 teaspoons, divided, for garnish
3 tablespoons Fonseca Bin 27 Port, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the pumpkin halves in a roasting pan, skin side up. Add about 1½ inches of water to the pan, and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
When the pumpkin is easily pierced with the tongs of a fork, remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the skin away and discard. Cut the pumpkin flesh into 2–3 inch cubes.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion, stirring until it has softened and turned a light golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes, ½ cup of the chicken stock, salt, pepper and sage, and bring to simmer. Lightly mash the pumpkin with a wooden spoon while stirring.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and purée the pumpkin mixture in a food processor until smooth. (You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your food processor.)
Once puréed, return mixture to the pan and add the remaining 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the ½ cup of heavy cream and Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of Fonseca Bin 27 Port and continue to a simmer for 3–5 minutes longer.
Divide the pumpkin soup between four soup bowls. Spoon ½ tablespoon of the heavy cream into the center of each bowl followed by ½ teaspoon of the Fonseca Bin 27 Port. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Pair the dish with Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port
Fonseca Bin 27 Flourless Chocolate Cake
1 pound dark bittersweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons to butter the pan
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Fonseca Bin 27 Port
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Trace and cut out a 9-inch round of parchment paper. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place the parchment paper round in the bottom of the pan, then butter the top of the parchment paper.
In a double boiler set over medium heat, combine the chocolate and butter and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth and a pale lemon yellow, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and Fonseca Bin 27 Port.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold them into the chocolate-Port batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until the cake has set.
Once baked, refrigerate the cake until cool. Place the cake on a platter and dust with cocoa powder before serving. Serves 8–10.
Pair with Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port