How to drink port wine

Port wine is a fortified wine made from red grapes, produced in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. It has been called "the most complex and difficult to make of all wines" and "the king of wines".

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Port is without doubt one of the most well-known dessert wines on the planet. Most of us have tried this wealthy, candy wine a couple of occasions and located it to be completely scrumptious. It’s increased in alcohol, and extra viscous than conventional purple wines, which makes it the right possibility for sipping and stress-free on the finish of a meal.

You will have tried the wine, however have you learnt find out how to drink port? Are you aware how is port made? How about opening or decanting port? Are you aware how lengthy does port final as soon as opened? All good questions, which we are going to reply beneath.

Reading: How to drink port wine

We are going to stroll you thru port wine, and we’ll educate you all the things you’ll want to find out about this superb fortified wine…

What’s Port Wine?

Let’s begin off with a very powerful query: “What is port wine?”

Port wine is a candy, wealthy purple wine made in Portugal. In reality, it’s solely made within the Douro Valley. It’s usually known as a ‘dessert wine’ resulting from its sweetness, however completely different kinds could be drunk as aperitifs in addition to after a meal.

What does Port style like?

This may differ relying on the type, however all Port has a couple of frequent flavours. Typically, Port wine has robust berry flavours: raspberries, blackberries, and prunes.

However, a few of the different frequent port flavours embody:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Dried fruits
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Nuts

As Port ages, there are a fair wider array of flavours, together with inexperienced peppercorn, hazelnut, figs, almond, and butterscotch.

What’s the Historical past of Port?

The historical past of Port dates again to the seventeenth century when England was at battle with France. With French wines banned, and later extremely taxed, wine retailers appeared elsewhere. The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 had established ‘friendships, unions [and] alliances’, making Portugal a super goal for the English wine commerce.

Shifting inland up the Douro river, these vinous explorers struck gold, discovering wealthy, deeply-coloured wines. Brandy was added to the wine to ensure the wine survived the journey again to England. At one of many wine-making monasteries within the space, monks had been including brandy throughout fermentation, giving the candy type of wine we all know and love at present.

In 1756 the manufacturing of port turned regulated and demarcated, changing into one of many first wine areas with a authorized boundary. This space, with its stunning meandering river and steep, terraced slopes, is now a Unesco World Heritage web site

The British nonetheless have a robust presence in Port manufacturing. The numerous well-known household model names have now largely been consolidated. Symingtons, nonetheless family-owned, and at the moment run by Johnny Symington, personal Warre, Dow, Cockburn and Graham. The Fladgate Partnership personal Croft, Fonseca and Taylor.

Pairing Port with Meals

port wine and cheese

Port is nice with stronger cheeses, akin to Stilton. Richer cheeses, like washed-rind cheese or blue cheese, carry out the sweetness of the Port wine. The berry flavours will improve the cheese flavours with out overpowering it.

A small chunk of Stilton, a mince pie and a glass of Port is an unbeatable mixture.

One other nice option to pair Port with meals is to serve it with smoked, salted, or roasted nuts. The nuttiness of port, significantly Tawny Port, makes for a beautiful mixture of flavours. Any desserts made with chocolate and caramel will likely be an excellent possibility for pairing with Port.

All About Port

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Folks ask us, “What is Port made from? Surely it can’t be typical wine if it’s so strong!”

That a lot is true. While you look into how is Port made, you’ll discover it’s the identical as wine, besides it has brandy added throughout fermentation. This provides it the next alcohol content material and extra physique. Brandy additionally stops the fermentation, making certain the Port retains the grape’s pure sweetness.

Port makes use of a novel mix of grapes native to Portugal. There are as much as 52 grape varieties used to make Port, with the commonest being:

  • Touriga Franca
  • Touriga Nacional
  • Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo)
  • Tinta Barroca
  • Tinta Cão

The addition of many sorts of grapes lends all kinds of flavours to the Port. Some grapes carry berry flavours, whereas others have chocolate, fig, or cinnamon flavours.

Varieties of Port Wine

While you browse our listing of natural Ports, you’ll see a couple of various kinds of Port: Reserve, Tawny and Classic. Some producers even make white and pink variations now!

  • White Port is often a lighter sort of port, made with white grapes. Frequent flavours embody citrus peel, roasted nuts, baked apple, and apricot. There may be much less sweetness to one of these port, relying on the producer, and it isn’t aged for as lengthy.
  • Rosé Port has a lot stronger berry flavours: strawberry, raspberry, and cranberry sauce. It has a scrumptious jammy be aware that provides it extra sweetness than white port, however it’s not as wealthy as a tawny or ruby port.
  • Tawny Portgets its title and color from prolonged ageing in picket casks earlier than bottling. It’s a mix of many vintages, and is usually bought as 10, 20, 30 or 40 12 months previous. It has mellow flavours of caramel, cloves, cinnamon, hazelnut, fig, and prune. Tawny port is able to drink as soon as bottled and doesn’t enhance over time.
  • Ruby Port is the least costly type, aged for 2 or three years in vat earlier than bottling and bought able to drink. Ruby port doesn’t enhance if saved in bottle.
  • Reserve Port is the following step up from Ruby, and has deeper flavours of raspberries, blackberries, chocolate, and cinnamon. That is the kind of wine you wish to get pleasure from slowly. It’s aged for no less than three years earlier than launch.
  • Classic Port is often the most costly Port. It’s made in tiny portions from one of the best grapes, and solely in the perfect years. It’s aged for 2 years earlier than being launched however can enhance for many years within the bottle.

How to Drink Port

If you wish to know find out how to drink port, you’ve come to the suitable place!

We suggest serving Tawny and Reserve Port at slightly below room temperature, round 10-16 C. This helps to carry out the sweetness and flavours of the darkish purple wine, with out making the alcohol overpowering.

For Rosé and White Port, you wish to go a bit colder: 4-10 C. These lighter ports are higher loved very chilly. In Portugal White Port is usually loved with tonic as an aperitif.

With Port, you don’t have to take an enormous mouthful at a time. Those that wish to know find out how to drink Port have to method it like a positive brandy: with small sips. You need simply sufficient that you just get these scrumptious fruity and berry flavours.

It’s best to serve Port in normal wine glasses. Port is usually served in very small glasses, however a wine glass is a lot better at capturing and enhancing the aromas.

A full 750ml bottle might serve as much as 10 folks, which is why we provide half bottles of the Best Reserve Port.

Take small sips, and ensure to savour every one!

Do you Have to Decant Port?

Solely classic Port and crusted Port have to be decanted earlier than serving, however you possibly can decant any Port if you want. Why does Port have to be decanted? Classic and crusted Ports have to be decanted as a result of they’ve sediment within the bottle. This isn’t dangerous to drink, simply disagreeable. Some other Ports could be decanted if you wish to launch the aroma or add some theatre to the serving.

You don’t have to have a particular decanter, any receptacle will do. Jugs, vases and milk bottles have all been used! You may rinse the unique bottle with water and pour the port again into the bottle to serve if desired.

How do you Decant Port?

Merely stand the bottle upright for a day or two. This may transfer all of the sediment to the underside of the bottle. Open the bottle and pour slowly and steadily in a single movement till you possibly can see the sediment transferring into the neck of the bottle. It could be helpful to have a lightweight supply beneath the neck so you possibly can see clearly. Historically, that is achieved with a candle, however a cellphone torchlight works simply as nicely!

How Lengthy Does Port Final?

Many individuals ask us: “How long does Port last once opened?” and “does Port go off quicker than other wines, due to its extra sugar and alcohol content?”

Most wines will go off inside a couple of days of opening, however Port can final for for much longer, relying on the type. Classic Ports are greatest consumed inside a couple of days, however Reserve and Tawny ports ought to final a couple of weeks within the fridge.

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To maintain your ports good for longer, retailer them in a cool, darkish place. Use a vacuum preserver to take away oxygen from the bottle earlier than re-corking—it’ll make the wine last more!

Ageing Port

The great thing about Port wine is that it may possibly age a lot better than common purple wine. The most effective Classic Ports could be aged for a lot of many years within the bottle. Tawny and Reserve Ports will preserve however could be drunk instantly, having been aged by the producer.

The ageing course of softens the tannins. The wealthy, darkish aromas of the fruits and berries will give option to dried fruit and nut flavours.

Cooking with Port Wine

Cooking with wine, and particularly cooking with Port, is an effective way so as to add wealthy, fruity flavours to your meals. With Port, you wish to use it for sauces in savoury and candy dishes. You may make wealthy, gooey chocolate sauces to serve with cake.

If you wish to make a scrumptious purple wine discount to serve with wealthy dishes akin to venison or a nut roast, Port makes a superb different. The upper sugar content material of port means it reduces right into a thicker consistency than purple wine. It’s an effective way to carry depth and sweetness to meals. For cooking, Ruby or Reserve Port is your best option.

Our Suggestions

Port is considered one of our favorite wines, and it’s undoubtedly not only for Christmas! We’re happy to supply a big selection of natural Port wines.

We’ve appeared via our listing to search out those we predict you’d get pleasure from most. Listed here are our prime three decisions of one of the best port wine:

  • Casal Jordoes Best Reserve Port

It is a Reserve Port with robust flavours of figs, fruitcake, and prunes. It’s ultimate for cooking with or to sip on the finish of a meal, or with cheese.

  • Casal Jordoes Classic Port 2011

This natural Classic Port from an excellent 12 months is wealthy, flavourful, and deep. The extreme flavours of black fruits, ginger biscuits, cloves, darkish goodies, and nutmeg make this the right digestif. Scrumptious now, however will preserve for a few years.

  • Casal Jordoes Tawny Port

Longer ageing in wooden makes this port lighter than the 2 above, however it has gentle, jammy flavours and a savoury be aware. It’s a full-bodied, however a really approachable port. It ages fantastically and makes for the right pairing with nuts.

  • Fonseca Terra Prima Natural Reserve Port

This port has been wood-matured for a median of 5 years within the conventional 550 litre ‘pipes’. Nice depth of wealthy, black fruit with liquorice and spice too. You may numerous wine to your cash right here. Stay like a king and revel in a glass with a piece of natural cheese and nuts.

Port is actually one of the crucial distinctive of the wines and one you’d do nicely so as to add to your wine cellar. Try our full vary of natural Ports to see what takes your fancy.

We’ve acquired one thing for each style!

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