Photo of a glass of porto wine being poured.

Have you tried port wine?
Many of our customers are not all that familiar with this flavorful wine. Porto, or port, is commonly enjoyed with dessert or a cheese course because its richness compliments sweet treats.

Port has flavors of raspberry, blackberry, caramel, cinnamon, and chocolate sauce. Delicious!

This wine is typically sweet and red. Although it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.

The wine received its name in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto. Port originates from the Douro Valley of Northern Portugal—although variations are produced around the world. And, it is how they process porto that makes it sweet. It is fortified with a neutral grape spirit called aquardente to stop the fermentation. This leaves residual sugars in the wine and boosts the alcohol content.

There are several styles of Port. The two major styles include a red port with berry and chocolate flavors and an aged, sweeter, tawny-colored port with caramel and nut flavors. As the wine ages, the flavors become more complex. There are many categories of porto, but most fall under these four.

  • Ruby Port is a deeply-colored red Port that includes Vintage, Late-bottled Vintage, Crusted, and Ruby Port
  • Tawny Port is a very sweet barrel-aged port with oxidative nut and caramel flavors
  • White Port is made with white grapes including Rabigato, Viosinho, Gouveio, and Malvasia
  • Rosé Port is a new style of Port wine made like rosé wine with flavors of strawberry, violets, and caramel

How to serve
Serve port just below room temperature (around 60 °F). One popular way to serve Ruby Port in the summer is on the rocks with a peel of lime! Port is typically served in a port wine glass which is smaller than a regular wine glass and holds about 3 ounces. Port can also be used as an ingredient in desserts and sauces.

Port pairs wonderfully with richly flavored cheeses (including blue cheese, Gruyère, Taleggio, and Fontina), chocolate and caramel desserts, salted and smoked nuts, and even sweet-smoky meats. It is delicious with barbecue.

An open bottle of Port will stay fresh for about 2 weeks at room temperature or about a month in the refrigerator. Using a vacuum sealer to remove oxygen from the bottle will preserve the life of the wine.

Our Recommendation
If you’re a looking for a port wine, this is what we recommend. Both ports are ready to drink and enjoy when bottled and does not require further aging.

Dow’s Fine Ruby Porto
Exuberant youthful fruit flavors make it perfect for informal drinking.

The grapes used in the production of Dow’s Fine Ruby are a blend of traditional Portuguese varieties from the Douro Valley. Aged in seasoned oak casks in Vila Nova de Gaia for an average of 3 years, and bottled when ready to drink.

Dow’s Fine Tawny Porto
Combines subtle fruit with delicious velvety nutty flavors derived from the cask aging.

A three-year-old blend aged in small oak casks in Vila Nova de Gaia. The barrel aging produces a smoother and lighter style of wine than the Dow’s Ruby.

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