Port wine is named after Portugal, where it originated from. It is a sweet, fortified wine that’s most often drunk after a meal during dessert.
Unlike other wines, Port is extremely rich and sweet, making it a great accompaniment to decadent desserts.
Types of Port wine
There are different types of Port wine including red, white, rosé, and an aged style known as Tawny Port.
Port wine comes in different qualities and there are some bottles that can reach upwards of $200, although it is possible to find a good quality bottle for a lot cheaper.
- Red Port: is also known as Ruby Port and is a dark red color with sweet fruity flavors.
- White Port: is made from white grapes indigenous to Portugal
- Rosé Port: is a newer style of Port wine that’s made in the same way as rosé wine.
- Tawny Port: is a barrel-aged Port with very sweet flavors of caramel and nuts.
What does Port wine taste like?
All Port wine is extremely sweet. Ruby (Red) Port boasts fruity flavors of berries and chocolate, while Tawny Port has more caramel and nut flavors with even more sweetness.
Older Tawny Ports that have been aged for over 20 years may even contain delicious complex flavors of hazelnut, butterscotch, graham cracker, and green peppercorn.
What to pair with Port wine
Because of its sweet flavors, Port wine pairs well with strong cheeses like blue and gorgonzola, and rich desserts such as chocolate cake or truffles. You can even go as far as to pair it with smoked nuts, and sweet and smokey meats.
How should you serve Port wine?
The ideal temperature for Port wine is just below room temperature, around 60°F. This Portuguese wine is so special, it even gets its own wine glass! A Port wine glass is 3 oz, making it smaller than a regular wine glass. Pour your guests a small amount of Port paired with delicious chocolate and raspberry truffles, and you’ll be the talk of the town!
Why is Port wine special?
Port wine is specifically made in Portugal from a unique blend of Portuguese grapes. These Port grapes include Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão, just to name a few. Each grape is specifically chosen for its unique flavors that it can bring to the wine. These grapes are responsible for the overall taste that the wine will end up with. For example, if you drink a Port with vanilla flavors, you can be sure that Touriga Nacional grapes were used. If you taste more cinnamon flavors, then Touriga Franca was the main grape added.
Can you cook with Port wine?
Dessert recipes will sometimes call for port wine as a way to make an ooey-gooey chocolate sauce or rich chocolate cake.
Similar to a balsamic glaze, Port wine can be reduced to a thick sauce.
Most times, the recipe will call for a Ruby Red Port, which will add berry and cinnamon flavors into your food.
How long does Port wine stay fresh?
Once you open a bottle of Ruby, White, or Rosé Port, it will stay fresh for about 2 weeks unrefrigerated, or a month refrigerated.
Tawny Port will keep for a while longer. You can keep a bottle of opened Tawny Port outside of the fridge for about one month before it spoils.
If you haven’t opened your bottle of Port, you’re in luck. Port stays fresh for a very, very long time. There are some vintage bottles that are over 100 years old, but it's so delicious, you probably won't be able to wait that long!
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