What is Port wine?


What is Port wine?

What is Port wine and how do you start by understating how to choose a Port wine to buy is what you will find in this post.

When someone thinks about visiting Portugal and spends some time searching for what to see and do in this country, I think one of the suggestions that will appear quite often is tasting/drinking port wine.

Am I right? Anyone, non-Portuguese, who reads this post please comment.

The problem is when you arrive in Portugal you will find so many different port wines that you will be confused. I do not mean you will be confused about the many existing brands, I mean about the types of port wine.

Tawny, LBV, Ruby, Vintage, … these are some of the names that will see on the bottles.

There are several types of port wine?

Yes, there are several types of port wine.

Are they so different to the point of a regular person to feel the differences?

Ooohhh Yes.

Between the various categories there are significant differences. Nothing better than drinking different categories and feel the differences – this is the best part, naturally.

My intention is only to give a general idea about port wine and help those who want to choose a bottle to take home or offer.

However, it is always good to taste them all – eheheheheh – that is the true choice of the knowledgeable.

What is the port wine?

In the research I did, the definition of port wine that pleased me most is on Wikipedia and says “Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto,…, and often simply port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.” (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_wine)

Is port wine so different from a regular table wine? If so, why is that?

Good … very simple, just drink one and drink the other and you will see big differences.
Port wine is sweeter and has higher alcohol content than table wine. A regular red table wine has around 14% alcohol and a red port wine around 20 or 22% alcohol.

As you already know, port wine can only be produced in the region of the Douro Valley and to produce port wine or Douro table wine the same types of grapes are used, what makes the big difference between the two wines is the production method.

The whole process of picking and treading the grapes is equal to port wine and table. The difference starts during the fermentation period.

To produce port wine there will be a shorter fermentation period of 2 or 3 days and to produce table wine a regular fermentation period of 6 or 7 days.

Then, in the case of port wine, to stop the fermentation process a certain quantity of wine spirits is added to fortify the wine.

As a result we will get a sweeter wine because not all the sugar was transformed into alcohol and a wine with higher alcohol content because it was added wine spirits.

This wine spirits is neutral, colorless, with a 77% alcoholic content, it is generally added at the rate of approximately 115 liters of spirits per 435 liters of wine in fermentation, although this ratio can vary.

In relation to the types of port wine, let us start by understanding how do they to relate to each other and then we will see some details of each category.

First according with their color:

In between the red (Tinto) you can have two categories:
-Ruby and here you can find: Ruby, Recently, LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) and Vintage;
-Tawny and you will find: Tawny, Tawny Reserve X number of years (10, 20, 30 or 40) and Harvesting

In the white (Branco) variety you can get: very sweet called “Lágrima”, “Sweet”, “Dry” and “Extra dry.

Most recently you have also Rosé

In a future post I will give you some insight about each kind of Port wine I mentioned above.

There are a lot of informations on the internet about this subject and the biggest problem is to choose what to read. I strongly recommend consulting the website https://www.ivdp.pt/ the IVDP is the Port and Douro Wines Institute and here you will find very good information.

To learn more in detail about the various categories of port wine can go directly to: https://www.ivdp.pt/pagina.asp?codPag=64&codSeccao=2&idioma=1

Now it’s time to stop writing about it and go drink a port wine.

I will drink a Tawny 10 years of Quinta de La Rosa, anyone with me?

“Saúde” (means health in Portuguese)

David Monteiro

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