For this loaf, I made a brine of port, salt, and calcium chloride. This cheese sat in this brine for six or so hours, and I flipped it about every hour. This contributed not so much the flavor of the port, but more of a fullness from the sugar and acids in the port. I think using a sweet and salty addition is better than using a bitter one (i.e. Guinness), mostly because when I first tried the Guinness cheddar my bodies initial reaction was, "This ain't right". It's kinda like the feeling that Ruhlman described while eating uncooked pork charcuterie--your body makes you feel like you are doing something wrong.
That is not the case with this loaf though, the smell is really full and not nearly as 'porty' as it was when I first cellared it. One thing I wish I could go back and change is omitting the whole milk and just using 2% exclusively, or 2%+1%. I've mentioned it before, but to reiterate--store bought whole milk is more trouble than it is worth when it comes to home cheesemaking. Not to say you can't get something interesting, it just always seems to introduce more problems than it solves. In this case, instead of having an elastic or creamy texture, it's a little dry on the tongue. Not bad, but more than I had hoped for.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.