Best Port Wines


Port wine is an incredibly popular type of fortified wine that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s known for its sweet, velvety taste and complexity of flavors, making it a favorite among many vinophiles.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best port wines available today – from vintage ports to ruby and tawny varieties – so you can find the perfect bottle to add to your collection.

Port wines are typically aged in oak barrels before being bottled, allowing them to develop their unique flavor profiles over time. With such an array of styles and tastes, there really is something out there for everyone!

We’ve put together our list of the top picks based on quality, price-point and overall drinkability – so read on to discover your new favorite bottle!

Vintage Ports

Vintage Ports are some of the finest wines in the world, renowned for their rich flavor and complexity. To illustrate just how special Vintage Ports can be, consider that only about two out of every 10,000 bottles produced will eventually be classified as a Vintage Port.

A true vintage port is made from grapes harvested exclusively from one year’s crop and aged in wood barrels or bottles for at least two years before being released to market. Not only do these ports have intense aromas and flavors such as blackberry, plum, figs, coffee and chocolate; they also boast incredibly high levels of tannins which give them an unmistakable ‘chewy’ texture on the palate.

This distinctiveness makes vintage ports ideal with rich dishes like dark chocolates or smoked meats. With all this in mind it becomes clear why many people refer to vintage ports as liquid gold! The next step in our exploration takes us away from still wines towards sparkling varieties – Ruby Ports.

Ruby Ports

Vintage Ports are renowned for their complexity and ageability. The unique combination of intense fruit flavors, high tannin levels, and sweet finish make them a favorite among connoisseurs everywhere. These ports also have great cellaring potential, with many bottles remaining drinkable up to 30-50 years after bottling.

Ruby Ports offer an alternative to the aging process of vintage port wines. Rather than waiting decades in the bottle before being enjoyed, they can be ready to drink within months after purchase. They are typically made from a blend of several different grape varieties, providing a bright reddish color as well as complex and fruity aromas like blackberry or cherry. With lower tannins and alcohol content than other styles of port wine, ruby ports are more approachable for those just starting out in exploring this type of fortified beverage.

Perfectly suited for occasions where you want something special but don’t want to wait too long for it to be ready – like BBQs or summer parties – ruby ports can provide a memorable experience without any extra effort on your part. And when stored properly, these delicious drinks can last for years without losing flavor or quality. Such flexibility makes them ideal for both casual gatherings and more formal events alike.

Now let’s take a look at another style of port: tawny ports…

Tawny Ports

Tawny Ports are a type of fortified wine, made from the same grape varieties as Ruby Ports. This style of portwine is aged for longer periods in wooden barrels than other styles – sometimes up to 40 years!

As it matures with age, Tawny Port takes on a beautiful amber color and develops complex flavors of nuts, dried fruits, caramel, chocolate and spices. The flavor profile tends to be smooth and mellow due to its long aging process. It’s an ideal accompaniment to cheeses or dark chocolate desserts.

Unlike Vintage Ports which have shorter shelf lives after being opened, Tawny Ports can stay open for weeks if properly sealed and stored at cool temperatures. They also typically cost less than their vintage counterparts making them accessible to all levels of port enthusiasts.

The unique combination of complexity and affordability makes Tawny Port one of the most popular types of port wines available today. Its sweet character is perfect for those looking for something special but not too intense in taste or price. With its versatility and wide range of flavors, it’s no wonder why this type of port has been enjoyed around the world for centuries.

Moving forward, we’ll explore another classic variety: Late Bottled Vintage Ports.

Late Bottled Vintage Ports

Tawny Ports, with their sweet and rich flavors of caramelized nuts, dried fruits, and spices, are well known for being some of the best port wines.

But if you’re looking to take your taste buds on a new journey, Late Bottled Vintage Ports (LBV) may be just what you need.

LBVs offer a unique flavor profile that stands out from traditional Tawny Ports.

With intense aromas of dark berries and robust notes of black currants, figs and plums coupled with touches of woodsmoke as well as subtle hints of tobacco and leather, LBVs can often provide an unforgettable experience.

This type of port is also known for its full body structure due to aging in oak barrels which adds complexity and depth not found in other port varieties.

The wine’s deep ruby color gives way to velvety tannins that linger long after each sip making it exceptionally smooth.

As such, LBV ports pair wonderfully with aged cheeses like blue cheese or gouda while they are great options for hearty dishes like beef stews or grilled meats such as steak or lamb chops.

And because these types of ports tend to have higher alcohol content than many other styles, they work very well when served alongside desserts like chocolate mousse or crème brûlée.

When selecting an LBV Port it’s important to look at the label carefully; those labeled ‘Reserve’ will usually have more complex flavors than regular LBVs since they have been aged longer before bottling resulting in greater intensity and power on the palate.

Lbv Reserve Ports

LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) Reserve Ports are some of the best port wines available. They are developed from top quality grapes and aged in oak casks for four to six years, making them more affordable than vintage ports while maintaining a robust flavor profile.

Here’s why LBV Reserve Ports stand out:

  • Rich and complex flavors – These full-bodied wines feature notes of dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, nuts, tobacco, earthy spices and even leather.

  • Aged to perfection – The extended aging process gives these ports an extra depth of flavor that you won’t find with younger varieties.

  • Affordable luxury – Despite their age and complexity, LBV Reserve Ports remain reasonably priced compared to other premium ports.

No matter what your palate prefers or your budget allows for, there is sure to be an LBV Reserve Port perfect for every occasion!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Food Pairs Best With Port Wine?

Pairing food with port wine is like a match made in heaven. Its sweet and complex flavor make it an ideal complement to many dishes, from savory meats to creamy desserts.

When considering what type of food pairs best with port wine, look for flavors that will bring out the sweetness or add complexity such as gamey meats, mushrooms, ripe cheeses, nuts, dried fruits and chocolate-flavored desserts.

For an interesting contrast try pairing it with tangy items like pickles or sharp cheeses. Ultimately you can’t go wrong when you pair delicious foods with delightful port wines!

Is Port Wine Suitable For Aging?

Port wine is a fortified wine, meaning it has been blended with brandy to boost the alcohol content and add flavor.

This makes port an ideal candidate for aging due to its high levels of sugar, acidity, tannins and antioxidants, which all help preserve the flavour over time.

As such, many producers suggest that some ports should be aged for several years before being enjoyed in order to achieve their full potential.

What Is The Difference Between Ruby And Tawny Port?

Tasting the difference between ruby and tawny port is like experiencing a spectrum of flavors; both are rich in history, but their unique qualities set them apart.

Ruby port is known for its fresh fruit aromas and jammy taste, while tawny has an aged complexity that creates nutty and caramel-like notes.

Both styles feature a variety of flavor profiles depending on how long they’ve been aged; however, ruby ports tend to have a younger profile with lighter body and sweeter finish compared to tawnies which offer more complex layers of dried fruits, nuts, and spices.

What Is The Traditional Way To Serve Port Wine?

Port wine is traditionally served at the end of a meal, usually as an aperitif.

It should be poured into a small glass and enjoyed slowly – aiming to appreciate the full flavour profile of the port.

To get the most out of it, try serving it slightly chilled; this will help bring out subtle notes that can often be missed when served warm.

How Do I Choose The Right Port For A Special Occasion?

When choosing a port for a special occasion, it’s important to consider the type of event and your budget.

If you’re hosting an intimate dinner party, opt for a full-bodied vintage from Portugal or Spain; if you’re attending a larger gathering, try something lighter that can be served in smaller servings.

A good rule of thumb is to stick with wines made exclusively from grapes grown in Douro Valley for more complex flavors and aromas.

Don’t forget to taste before buying—most ports come in half bottles so you don’t have to commit too much money upfront.

Conclusion

Port wine is an excellent choice for a special occasion. With its sweet, rich taste and alluring aroma, it pairs perfectly with many foods.

Whether you choose ruby or tawny port depends on your preference, as both can be aged to perfection.

When served traditionally in a small glass after dinner, port provides the perfect conclusion to any meal.

So if you’re looking for something special to celebrate, why not try some port? You won’t regret it – it’s sure to make any night more memorable!

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