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Drink Dictionary Word
Port, Porto
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Category: Wine
Alc/vol: 19% to 21%

Port is fortified wine. Red port is ruby to amber. White port is pale yellow to gold. Red port is sweet and white port is dry. It is produced in the region of Haut Douro, but it is blended and aged in Villa Nova De Gaia, Portugal. Fresh grape juice is fermented for 24 hours, then brandy is added to stop the fermentation. It is then sent to Villa Nova de Gaia where it is blended with other ports and aged for at least 2 years. During this period alcohol is added every 3 months (to compensate for the evaporation of alcohol). All port wines must then pass before a panel of wine tasters at the 'Institute Of Portuguese Wines' before it may be put on the market. White Port is best enjoyed 10 to 15°C (50 to 59°F) in a port wine glass as a cocktail.

There are 4 different types of port (that may be white or red):

Blended Port: Is a port that is assembled using many different ports from possibly different vintages. The goal is to make a port that has the same flavor and aroma from one bottle to another, from one year to another. This way, the consumer can associate a certain distinct character with a brand name. Best enjoyed straight up, in cocktails and punches. Blends well with fruit juices, beer, white vermouth, sparkling wine, coffee liqueurs and brandy.

Vintage Port: Is a port that is produced from one year's harvest (vintage) and is not assembled with other ports. This port is bottled and aged before being sold. These ports bear the vintage (year of harvest) on the label. Vintage ports are considered to be the best. Best enjoyed cool 14 to 18°C (57 to 64°F) in a port wine glass as a cocktail, with dessert or with blue cheese (especially Stilton cheese).

Late Bottled Vintage Port: Is a vintage port that has been aged in oak casks for a while (years) before being bottled. Late bottled vintage ports are sometimes less expensive and as good as vintage ports. Best enjoyed cool 14 to 18°C (57 to 64°F) in a port wine glass as a cocktail, with dessert or with blue cheese (especially Stilton cheese).
Tawny Ports 10, 20, 30 and 40 Year Old: Are a blend of young and old ports that have an average age of 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. The young ports give the product acidity and freshness, while the older ports give body and character. These ports provide good value for the dollar. Best enjoyed cool 14 to 18°C (57 to 64°F) in a port wine glass as a cocktail, with dessert or with blue cheese (especially Stilton cheese). May be used in cocktails with champagne.


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