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Port Wine, The Most Popular Wine!

Written on : 03 November 2020
By : Disha Pegu
Port Wine, The Most Popular Wine!

For all wine lovers, there is no need to introduce the very renowned port wine that comes from the northern provinces of Portugal. With its exquisite sweet flavour, Port is usually a dessert wine and can be found in many wine styles such as red, white, rosé and an exclusive antique style called "Tawny Port". Port wine is a sweet, fortified wine made from grapes grown in the Douro Valley in Portugal but it gets its name from the city of Porto as the wine is shipped worldwide from there. Its distinctive flavour and aroma, which makes it different from all other wines, has contributed to its immense popularity over the years. After its massive success, several other wine producers in different countries began to imitate the Port winemaking process, but real Port wine can only be made in Portugal. Today, let's discover a little history, the story of its success and some interesting facts about this luscious wine from Portugal

History, Varieties and Specialities

History, Varieties and Specialities

The origins of Port wine date back to the 1600s, when the English came to Portugal in search of a substitute for French wine, when England and France entered into war in 1678 and all imports and exports and trade ceased as a result. But wine from Portugal did not survive the transport to England because of the humidity and temperatures. As a coping technique, wine producers mixed brandy with the wine to add to its longevity, which pleased the British. They moved to Portugal to open cellars and create this recipe with wine made from Portuguese grapes. A century later, in 1756, the Portuguese Prime Minister, Marqués de Pombal, demarcated the Duoro Valley and the Porto region where the wine was cultivated and aged.   

So, are you still thinking about what makes Port wine so different from other wines? The answer would be the blend of grapes indigenous to the Douro Valley. To be precise, there are 52 grape varieties that go into making Port Wine and each grape is responsible for a specific flavour and aroma. In addition, the aromas added to the wine are cinnamon, raspberry, blueberry, chocolate and caramel. There are several varieties of Port Wine on the market, each with their own specificity. White Port, for example, is an un-aged wine with fruity flavours of apricot and roasted nuts, which goes perfectly with cocktails. Red port is the most popular and has a deep, bright red colour that also includes vintage wine categories. Red Port wine is usually flavoured with hints of cinnamon, chocolate and raspberry. They are stored and aged in steel containers rather than wooden kegs.   
Tawny Port is another exclusive variety of Port that is aged in oak barrels and has a very robust taste of nuts and caramel. Vintage and Tawny Ports are to be enjoyed on their own. Tawny Port can be aged from 10 to 40 years. These are high-quality wines with a strong caramel and vanilla flavour. A newer variety of Port wine is the rose Port wine which has a light reddish colour and has shorter maturing period. The rose Port wine is best served chilled and can be served with ice as well.

How Do You Serve Port Wine and What to Pair it With?

How Do You Serve Port Wine and What to Pair it With?

Port wine is best served at room temperature and not chilled, with the exception of rosé port, which can be served chilled or with ice. Although Port Wine is served as a dessert wine or pudding wine taken after meals for its sweetness, there is no strict rule for serving it. Similarly, rosé Port is perfectly splendid to be enjoyed on a summer day with a zest of lime. You can enjoy your favourite glass of Port with anything you like, because a glass of Port will do justice every time! But as popular recommendations, the wine tastes best with cheese, nuts or even smoked meat. Note that port wine glasses are smaller than regular wine glasses. You can also use this variety of wine in cooking and red port is often extensively used in cooking. The wine that most resembles port could be Madeira wine from the Madeira Islands in Portugal or Marsala from Sicily in Italy

If you wish to buy port wine in the market, we recommend that you look for the brands mentioned below, which are authentic and 100% from Portugal.    
  • Quinta das Carvalhas 
  • Van Zellers 
  • Warre's 
  • W. & J. Graham's 
  • Smith Woodhouse 
  • Cockburn 
  • Dow's 
  • Cockburn 

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