What is Port wine ?
What is Port wine and how do you start by understating how to choose a Port to buy is what you will find in this post.
Port wine is probably one of the most know products from Portugal.
Is kind of a Portuguese icon.
Some people like it, some people don’t. What about you? Do you like it?
The truth is, there are so many kinds of this particular wine that you might never have tasted the one you love.
Maybe you tasted a Ruby with no idea there was a Tawny port or even a white.
Let’s map port wine so you can have a better understanding of this lovely wine.
You can call port wine or just Port.
Tawny, LBV, Ruby, Vintage, … these are some of the names that will see on the bottles.
What is the Port?
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 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 is sweeter and has higher alcohol content than table wine.
Regular red table wine has around 14% alcohol and a red Port around 20 or 22% alcohol.
As you already know, Port can only be produced in the region of the Douro Valley.
To produce Port or Douro table wine the same types of grapes are used. The production method is what makes the big difference between the two wines.
The whole process of picking and treading the grapes is equal to Port and table. The difference starts during the fermentation period.
To produce Port 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, 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 this wine will have a higher alcohol content because it was added wine spirits.
These wine spirits are 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, let us start by understanding how do they to relate to each other and then we will see some details of each category.
Are there several types of Port?
Yes, there are several types of Port.
Are they so different to the point of a regular person to feel the differences?
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 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 kind of categories for Port?
Red – on the red’s you can find two different families:
–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
White – rated in accordance with its sweetener lever: very sweet called “Lágrima”, “Sweet”, “Dry” and “Extra dry.
Rosé – with only one classification
In a future post, I will give you some insight about each kind of Port I mentioned above.
There are a lot of pieces of information on the Internet about this subject but 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 there 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 port wine.
I will drink a Tawny 10 years of Quinta de La Rosa, anyone with me?
“Saúde” (means health in Portuguese)