About Port

Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wine Varietals and other Wines topics.

What is port?

About Port

Port wine is a specialty wine that is a red or white wine made with the grape varieties that grow specifically in the Douro River Valley in northern Portugal. The taste of port ranges from fruity and sweet to complex and dry. A combination of five grape varieties go into port wine: Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cao, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Francesa. Port is usually enjoyed before or after the entree. The types of port: Ruby port: a blend from several harvests that spends a minimum of two years in very large vats before being bottled. It has a rich red color and a very fruity taste. Tawny: a blend of several harvests that spends two to seven years aging in casks. It has a deep mahogany color and a dry, nutty taste. Aged Tawny: It can have an age of 10 to more than 40 years. It has a refined subtle taste. Colheita: a Tawny port made with grapes from a single harvest. Aged at least seven years in casks. These wines are dark amber colored and exhibit a brandy–like warmth and deeply nuanced nutty flavors. White Port: made from a blend of juice from white grapes and sometimes even red. It spends two to three years in casks. White port is known for creating a refreshing drink called the port splash. A port splash is made with equal parts of white port and tonic water poured over ice, with a twist of lemon. Crusted port: a type of Ruby with a blend of wines from different years that spends three years in a cask and then is aged in a bottle. This port must be decanted because, as the name suggests, there is a sediment or "crust" in the bottle made up of grape skin, seed and stem. Vintage character: a high quality Ruby blend that ages four to six years in a cask. Vintage port is dark garnet or ruby colored and exhibits varying degrees of sweetness, that mellow and soften with age. Single quinta port: made with wine from one vineyard. After aging two years in wood they are bottled and spend from five to 50 years maturing. The label will indicate the Vintage year and bottling date. Single quinta port has a complex, and refined taste. Vintage port: comes from a single harvest of exceptional quality and is bottled after two years in wood. This is one of the most sought after wines in the world. Late-bottled vintage: made from grapes grown in a single year. Aged four to six years in wood before bottling. Like vintage ports, it needs decanting because of sediment.



Nobody has commented on this tip yet. Be the first.


URL: (optional)


Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Wines Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak