Types of Port Wine

types of port wineTypes of Port Wine

By Mark Adams

Mark is a professional winemaker, former winery owner, author and frequent speaker on wine.  He currently teaches wine classes throughout the United States.

There are many types of Port Wine.

Port, no, not the left side of the boat…Port is actually the name of a grape from Portugal. Really clever and original name, huh?

Although the name is rather unoriginal the wine is really good.

If we could go back in the great wine time machine a few hundred years to Portugal we would find that the main market for this wine was in England

The ship, loaded down with its precious cargo would sail down the Portuguese rivers toward the ocean and then take a really strong right and then keep going until they ended up in merry ole England.

They problem was that because of the length of the trip and the lack of modern preservatives, a large part of the wine would spoil.

This was very bad for our Portuguese friends. They were stumped. Didn’t know what to do. But to their rescue came a presumed “drunken sailor”.

Knowingly or unknowingly (the story is better if you believe unknowingly) he spilled brandy into some the port wine barrels and alas, the wine lasted until and well after the trip to England.

What he had done was invent “fortified” wine.

Fortified wines are wines that have other alcohol added, usually brandy. This addition props up or fortifies the grape wine. In reality, the preservatives in the brandy also preserve the grape wine.

Think of this concept as a wine mixed drink and you’ll be fine. A word of caution, most people take a while to acquire a taste for this wine. It is very sweet, but also very strong.

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There are different types of port, the main difference being how long they are aged. Some of the finest ports can be aged as much as 20 years

Discovering port wines can be an adventure all to itself.

So if you want to try something different, give the many types of port wine a try.

Probably even a little too much to cover here but go the wine store and ask about ruby and tawny ports and explore the difference.

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