Port

 
Synonyms: Porto, Vinho do Porto

Wine Name: Tawny Port, Vintage Port, Ruby Port, White Port, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port, Colheita Port

Background: Port is a fortified wine from Portugal that is a blend of grapes, fermented not to completion but arrested with a neutral grape distilled spirit or brandy that kills off the yeast and stops the fermentation while sweet grape juice is still present. Then it is placed in barrels (for Tawny and Vintage Ports) for about two years to age, or in cement or stainless steel tanks (Ruby, White and Rosé ports). After the short aging time, the port wine is either further aged in barrels (Tawny, Coheita or LBV Ports) for extended periods of time such as 10, 20 30 or 40 years or more, or the wine is bottled. Ruby, White and Rosé Ports are then released for sale not too long after that, while Vintage Ports which are unfiltered are allowed to age further in the bottle. The Tawny Ports that have aged in barrels for a long time are either quite settled out or are filtered before bottling and since they were exposed to prolonged but very slow oxidation in the barrel, they can be opened and do not need to be decanted nor consumed quickly. Vintage Ports, however, benefit from being decanted due to sediment and should be consumed within a day or two since they will undergo rapid oxidation.

Classic Brands and Sources: Churchill, Cockburn, Croft, Dow, Fonseca, Graham’s, Niepoort, Smith Woodhouse, Taylor Fladgate, Quinta do Noval, Ramos Pinto, Sandeman, Warres Otima

Characteristics:

Tawny

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium

Vintage

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – medium (+)

Ruby

Body – full

Acidity – perceived low

Sweetness – medium

Tannins – medium

White

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low to medium (-)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Generally, Ports are meditation wines consumed alone without foods. They pair well with chocolate desserts most aged cheeses and nuts

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:

Tawny ports – Crème Bruelee, Pies of Apple, Apricots, Pecans, Cherries, or Mince; Almonds, Hazelnuts, Biscotti, Dried Figs, Vanilla Ice Cream
Vintage Ports – Chocolate cake, tarts and truffles, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, walnuts
Ruby Ports – Chocolate Mousse, chocolate pudding, Mud Pie, fruit salads
White Ports – Olives, Sushi, Clam Chowder, Fish Cakes, Smoked Salmon, Spicy Prawns, Duck/Chicken Liver Pate, Cheese Biscuits

Cheese Pairings:
Tawny ports – nutty flavored cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Swiss, Fontal, Maasdam,
Vintage Ports – Blue Cheese, Stilton, Brie, Camembert, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano
Ruby Ports – Mild and medium sharp Cheddar, Cambozola, Manchego, Murcia al Vino, Mahon, Fourme D’Ambert
White Ports – Gruyere, Swiss, Fontina, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel, Danbo,