FAQ: Port

What is Port?

Port is a fortified wine that comes from the Douro region of Portugal. You may have even seen it given the name 'Porto' or 'Oporto'; this started as to avoid misuse of the name, as only true Port comes from Portugal. There are over a hundred varietals permitted in the making of Porto, but only five are the most widely used: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. Port starts out as normal wine, but neutral grape brandy, aguardente, is added during fermentation, which stops the fermentation and leaves behind quite a bit of residual sugar. This is why Port is sweeter than Sherry (Sherry is fortified after fermentation).

 

 

The picturesque Douro Valley.

 

What are the different styles of Port?

Port can be divided into two categories: Cask-aged and Bottle-aged.

Cask-Aged Ports include Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) which is made from a single vintage but bottled 4-6 years after harvest which makes it lighter and ready to drink sooner than Vintage Port.  Ruby Port, which is dark and fruity and blended from non vintage wines, Tawny Ports, which are lighter and more delicate and blended from many vintages, Aged Tawny which is aged in casks sometimes for up to 40 years or longer, and Colheita which is made from a single vintage but wood aged for a minimum of seven years.
Bottle-Aged Ports include Vintage Character is similar to LBV in style, but made from a blend of vintages from better years. Quinta Port is from a single vineyard (rare and expensive). Finally there's Vintage Port, all grapes must come from a declared vintage, aged minimum of 2 years in wood and will mature in the bottle over time.

 

Just a few of our favorites...

 

Is Port always RED?

Nope. Truthfully, half of the hundred varietals permitted in the making of Porto are white. However, there is such a thing as White Port, although the serious Port drinkers don't really acknowledge it. It can be dry or sweet, and is a lovely alternative in the summer time. You can drink it straight, mixed with tonic/seltzer, or in a Caipi Porto (basically a Caipirinha made with White Port instead of Cachaca).

 

How long does Port last for?

That depends on the style. Tawny Ports will not improve with age, and should be consumed somewhat close to the date of bottling (it's on the back label). LBV Ports are already exposed to oxidation for at least 2 years, are not meant for ageing, and fall apart faster upon opening. Vintage Ports, unopened and cellared properly, can age for 30-100+ years. In many cases, as far as opened bottle longevity is concerned, you get what you pay for. But to generalize, LBV's should be consumed within a week, Tawny within 2 weeks, and Vintage Port within a month. That being said, what is 'safe to drink' and what 'tastes good' are very different things. Due to a higher alcohol content and a fair amount of residual sugar, Port will not technically "go bad" for quite a while.

All the best.

Holly Phillips CS, Asst. Wine Director

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Dow's Fine White Port (750)
Dow's Fine White Port (750ml)

Dow's Fine White Port is aged on average 3 years in oak casks. These wines are carefully made from the finest selected white grapes, principally Malvasia Fina and Gouveio (better known as Verdelho). During the ageing process,... Read More

 
Original price: $22.99
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Dow's Vintage Port 2000 (750)
Dow's Vintage Port 2000 (750ml)

Very dark opaque purple color, with a typically spicy nose and intense underlying aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants. On the palate enormous weight and structure with a marvelous balance of dense black fruit flavors and... Read More

 
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Graham's Vintage Port 2000 (750)
Graham's Vintage Port 2000 (750ml)

98 Points James Suckling
Aromas of dried fruits, raisins and Christmas cake. Some chocolate undertones too, plus licorice and wet earth. Full body, medium sweet with gorgeous depth and intensity of fruit. So long and beautiful.... Read More

 
Original price: $159.99
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Graham's Vintage Port 1994 (750)
Graham's Vintage Port 1994 (750ml)
Red Wine 

A classic growing season produced grapes in quite superb condition. It soon became apparent during the vintage that the wines would be exceptional. This initial assessment has been borne out by their development in bottle; the... Read More

 
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Quinta De Eufemia White Port (750)
Quinta De Eufemia White Port (750ml)

Quinta de Eufemia White Port has a beautiful golden color and fruit flavour where we can distinguish the Moscatel galego flavour. It is better to drink it cool as aperitive with fresh cheese or foie gras.... Read More

 
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Ramos Pinto Lagrima White Port (750)
Ramos Pinto Lagrima White Port (750ml)

Ramos Pinto Porto Lagrima White is the sweetest of all Casa Ramos Pinto Ports with fairly high sugar content - around 136 grams per liter. To counterbalance this sugary taste, white, well-ripened grape varieties are used, which... Read More

 
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Sandeman 40 Year Tawny (750)
Sandeman 40 Year Tawny (750ml)

An intense, deeply flavoured 40 year old Tawny, with a massive bouquet suggesting vanilla, oak and honey, and a mouthful of very complex flavours of dried fruits, spices, and nuts. As the wine unfolds smoothly and develops in... Read More

 
Price:   $169.99
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Sandeman Tawny 20 Year (750)
Sandeman Tawny 20 Year (750ml)

Specially selected Portos are chosen for ageing in wooden casks, which concentrates their fruit and flavour. The color matures from deep ruby through to amber, producing a rare and delicious Tawny Porto. Maturity and fruit are... Read More

 
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Smith Woodhouse 20 Year Tawny Colhetia (750)
Smith Woodhouse 20 Year Tawny Colhetia (750ml)

Attractive and intensely rich golden amber color. The nose offers a fresh sea breeze scent as well as hints of orange peel and honey. On the palate, this old Tawny is creamy and unctuous, showing rich spiced fruit and almonds.... Read More

 
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Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny (750)
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny (750ml)
Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny is a superb example of the aged tawny style. Mellow and elegant, combining delicate wood notes with rich aromas of mature fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. --Winery Notes
 
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Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny (750)
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny (750ml)
Another magnificent and finely-balanced old tawny blend of outstanding richness and complexity. This rare Port is traditionally enjoyed as a dessert wine or at the end of the meal. Ideal for summer drinking, Taylor s 20 Year Old... Read More
 
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Taylor Fladgate 30 Year Tawny (750)
Taylor Fladgate 30 Year Tawny (750ml)

Wine and Spirits: 93 Points
Porto 30-Year-Old Tawny At a beautiful moment in its evolution, this blend has a lingering richness. The aromas are deep, complex and heady; the flavors of fresh apricot and nutmeats bring Douro almonds... Read More

 
Original price: $154.99
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Taylor Fladgate 40 Year Tawny (750)
Taylor Fladgate 40 Year Tawny (750ml)

This sweet wine shows fresh, rich black cherry and cassis aromas. On the palate, it has a well-knit structure, with a velvety, luscious mouthfeel and smooth tannins. Delicious as an after-dinner drink on its own, this wine also... Read More

 
Original price: $254.99
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Warre's Otima 10 Year Tawny (500)
Warre's Otima 10 Year Tawny (500ml)

The latest addition to the range of fine ports from Warres, Otima is an aged 10 year old tawny especially suitable for those with a preference for the lighter style of Port. Its delicate palate challenges the traditional perception... Read More

 
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Warre's Otima 20 Year Tawny (500)
Warre's Otima 20 Year Tawny (500ml)

Warre's OTIMA 20 Year Tawny is a finely crafted aged tawny Port, which expresses the great skill and experience of Warre’s master blender. An outstanding wine that epitomises everything that is great about a superbly balanced... Read More

 
Original price: $45.99
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 -Mitch

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