Welcome to Wine on Wednesday! This Week’s Focus: Port
We’ve made it through almost all of the popular wine varietals for Wine on Wednesday, so what better way to finish the informational portion of our series than with an after dinner wine?
Port is a wine that is often referred to as “the perfect dessert wine”, although it comes in a wide range of flavors from very sweet to extra dry. Port wine originated in the Duoro River Valley in Portugal, which is where the name “Port” is derived, but it is currently produced in many countries, including Australia, South Africa, Canada, India, Argentina, and the United States.
There are several types of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage and White Port. Here are more details on each of these Port varietals.
Ruby Port: Ruby Port gets its name because of its ruby red color. This port is typically aged for only a few years, and has flavors of berries. Ruby Port pairs well with berry desserts and milk chocolate.
Tawny Port: Tawny Port is lighter in color than Ruby Port, and tends to be a sweeter Port. Tawny Port is aged longer than Ruby Port as well, usually anywhere from 8-12 years. Flavors you might find in a Tawny Port include fig, caramel, butter, and nutty flavors. Tawny Ports pair well with caramel or apple desserts, milk chocolate, pumpkin or pecan pie.
Vintage Port: Vintage Port is considered the “high end” Port wine. Vintage Ports are made from blended grapes which are all from the same vintage year, which is why this Port carries the name “Vintage”. Vintage Port is typically aged much longer than other Ports-anywhere from 10-30 years! Vintage Port does not have a distinct flavor profile, because flavors can vary by winemaker and aging time. Vintage Port typically pairs well with chocolate and chocolate based desserts.
One important note: Vintage Port is different from Late Bottled Vintage Port. This type of port is also made with grapes of the same vintage year, but it is not aged as long as a Vintage Port.
White Port: White Port is made from white grape varietals and can be sweet to semi-dry. White Port tends to be fruitier than other Ports and is often served as an aperitif rather than a dessert paired wine.
While Port is typically considered an after dinner or dessert wine, there is a lot of variation in the style of Port wines. When choosing a Port Wine to drink, it will be important to think about what you’re pairing the Port with, whether that be chocolate, fruit, or nutty flavored desserts. A good Port can really enhance the flavor of the item you’re pairing it with.
I hope you’ve learned a little more about wine in our Wine on Wednesday series, and that this knowledge has helped you branch out into trying new wines! We may have learned about most of the popular varietals, but that doesn’t mean Wine on Wednesday is over! Now we’ll begin reviewing individual wines to help you find a wine you’ll love!
Are there any wines you’d like us to review? Respond in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!!