Port is a sweet, red, fortified wine belonging to Portugal. Port is most commonly taken as a dessert wine due to its rich and sweet taste. There are several styles of Port, that include red, white, rosé and an aged style popularly referred to as Tawny Port.
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What does Port Taste Like?
Port is indeed a sweet wine with flavors of raspberry, blackberry, caramel, cinnamon as well as a chocolate sauce.
There are several different kinds of port, but the 2 primary styles of Port does include a red Port with more berry and chocolate flavors (and slightly less sweetness), and no doubt a tawny-colored Port which contains more caramel and nut flavors along with of course more sweetness.
Fine aged Vintage Port or 30+ years Tawny Port has subtle flavors such as graphite, green peppercorn, hazelnut, almond, butterscotch, and graham cracker.
Port wine goes well with richly flavored cheeses (including blue cheese and washed-rind cheeses), chocolate as well as caramel desserts, salted and smoked nuts, and even sweet-smoky meats which taste good for barbecues.
The Common Styles of Port Wine
There are nearly 4 main styles:
• Ruby (Red) Port: It happens to be a deeply-colored red Port which does include Vintage, Late-bottled Vintage (LBV), Crusted and Ruby Port
• Tawny Port: a very sweet barrel-aged port with oxidative nut and caramel flavors
• White Port: It is made with indigenous white grapes including Rabigato, Viosinho, Gouveio, and Malvasia.
• Rosé Port: This as a new style of Port wine is prepared like rosé wine with flavors of strawberry, violets as well as caramel
What Makes Port Unique?
Its unique blend of Portuguese indigenous grapes makes it very tasty. Port grapes do include Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão, and there are no doubt nearly 52 varieties. Each grape does add a unique flavor to the blend. For example, Touriga Nacional does add blueberry and vanilla notes, and Touriga Franca adds raspberry as well as cinnamon notes.
Port is traditionally fermented in lagers where people do stomp grapes with their feet while the wine does ferment. As of today, most Port wineries do make use of automatic lagers with mechanical “feet” in place of manual labor.
Special wine glass
A Port wine glass is rather smaller than a regular wine glass and the serving size is supposed to be approximately 3 oz.
Port Wine and Cooking
Port is indeed a popular addition to chocolate cakes, sweet gooey chocolate sauces and is also used as a reduction for savory dishes such as steak (especially a blue cheese topped steak). Chefs simmer Port wine and do reduce it to a thick sauce. One can add the port syrup to recipes or just drizzle it over the top of a dish, which can be used as the balsamic glaze. Port is a great flavorful alternative to brown sugar or even maple syrup.
Which Port to Use in Cooking?
Most recipes require affordable Ruby Port, the style of which is red and does impart red berry and cinnamon-like flavors into one’s sauce.
Port Wine Substitute
In a pinch, one can make use of 2 parts dry bold red wine, 1 part alcohol (brandy or vodka) and about 1/4 part sugar.
How long does Port last open?
A Ruby-style Port will indeed stay fresh for about 2 weeks (a month in case it is properly preserved in one’s fridge and a Tawny Port will indeed stay fresh for about a month. One can keep wines longer by storing one’s wine in a cool dark place and making use of a vacuum preserver in order to remove oxygen.
How long will Port Cellar?
Vintage Port is made to age for a long, long time. There are highly-prized Vintage Ports which are over 100 years old. Yet, most Port we one comes across in the supermarket is indeed bottled in a way that needs to be drunk upon purchase