Port Wines is a fortified wine produced in Douro Valley in Portugal. Outside Portugal, it is produced in Canada, Argentina, France, United States, Australia, and India.
From where did Port Wine get its name?
Port Wine got its name from ‘Porto’ port on the Douro river, which was the place where the port wine used to be exported to other countries in Europe in 17th Century.
Tinta Cão, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional are the grape varieties from which Port Wine is produced. Touriga Francesa is the most widely grown port grape.
Preparation of Port Wine
Port Wine is produced from the grapes grown especially from Douro region of Portugal.
During the making of port wine, it is not allowed to complete fermentation. Incomplete fermentation leaves the residual sugar behind and fortification is done by adding grape spirit ‘Aguardente’ which increases the alcohol content after which the wine is stored in barrels and aged before bottling.
Types of Port Wine
· Tawny Port is made from red grapes. Gradual Oxidation and evaporation in wooden barrels’ results in a golden-brown color wine with a nutty flavor. Consumed as a dessert wine. Tawny port goes best with Stilton, King of English Cheese, Jalapenos and Cheddar. Also pairs well with Apple, Cream, and Almond tarts.
· Ruby Port is the cheapest and most widely produced port. Does not generally improve with age. Pairs well with Dark Chocolate truffles.
· Rose Port is fermented like rose wine but during fermentation little exposure to grape skin imparts it rose color.
· Colheita Port is aged in tawny style for at least for 7 years.
· White Port is an excellent choice to create cocktails.
· Crusted Port is a blend of port wine from several different vintages.
Port Wine in Australia
In Australia, according to a change in Wine Australia Corporation Act 1980, ‘Port’ word is no longer used with the Port Wine, which is used especially port wines coming from Portugal, but rather called ‘Vintage, ruby and tawny fortified’.