Port Wine


Port is a sweet fortified wine from the Douro River valley in Portugal. It generally comes in two varieties:

Wood Port or Tawny Port (barrel aged) are aged using the oxidative process for a minimum of seven years in wooden barrels. Examples are Tawny, Colheita, and Garrafeira.

Vintage Port or Ruby Port (bottle aged) are aged using the reductive process for three to five years in concrete or stainless-steel containers. Examples are Ruby, Pink, white and LBV or Late Bottled Vintage

Port holds up very well to aging and can easily be stored in a wine cellar for decades.

It is worth noting that "the" classic port pairing is Vintage Port with Stilton cheese for dessert or after dinner. If your Vintage Port is in short supply, this pairing works beautifully with any ruby port.


Other names: Ruby Port, Porto, Port, Tawny Port
Translations: ポートワイン, Portveinas, ميناء النبيذ, Vin de Porto, Vin de Porto, Port vino, Порт вина, יין פורט, Portvin, Port, 포트 와인, पोर्ट वाइन, Vi de Porto, Vinho do Porto, 鲜红, Portvin, Portviini, Vino de Oporto, Портвайн

Physical Description

Port wine has a high alcohol content ranging between 19 - 22% by volume. Its color and sweetness vary according to the different types of port.

Barrel-aged ports have a mellow to golden brown color and a sweet "nutty" flavor.

Bottle-aged ports have a clear to dark ruby colour

Colors: golden brown, dark ruby

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet
Mouthfeel: Dry, Smooth, Rich
Food complements: Oreos, Cheesecake, Stilton cheese, Chocolate, Nuts and nut-based dessert
Wine complements: Red wine
Substitutes: Sweet wine, Red wine blend, Grape juice

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: There are different types of port whose quality and complexity vary according to the time it spent aging and the grapes used. Ruby port is considered the least expensive and the most basic of port wines. Tawny is a good starter port for the novice. It has a dry, nutty, sweet flavor.
Buying: Port is available at all wine shops, liquor stores and grocers that sell wine.

Preparation and Use

Port should be served around 65 degrees in a standard port glass

Conserving and Storing

An unopened bottle should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.


History: Port wine though typically associated with Portugal, really owes at least part of its invention to England as a direct by-product of battling France. The English boycotted French wine in the late 17th century as a result of war and began buying their wine from Portugal. The Brits started adding a bit of brandy to the still wine to help sustain it during the voyage back to England. This brandy addition, served to give the still wine the fortitude to make the long trip on a rocking boat, but it also made the wine considerably sweeter to boot. Ports have a reputation for being higher in alcohol, noticeably sweeter, with more body and palate density than other still wines.



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