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Port Wine in Portugal


Port Wine in Portugal

A glass of tawny port wine
A glass of tawny port wine
Porto is famous for the eponymous port wine, a fortified wine (20%) made by adding brandy to the wine before fermentation is complete. According to EU laws, port wine can only be named as such if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is brewed in Porto. The end product is strong, sweet, complex in taste and if properly stored will last 40 years or more. There are many, many grades of port, but the basic varieties are:
  • Vintage, the real deal, kept in the bottle for 5-15 years, can be very expensive for good years. It is, nevertheless, worth it.
  • Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV), simulated vintage kept in barrel longer, ready to drink. Nice if you are on a budget.
  • Tawny, aged for 10-40 years before bottling, which distinguishes itself by a more brownish red color and a slightly smoother bouquet and flavor. As with any wine, the older it gets, the more rounded and refined it will be.
  • Ruby, the youngest and cheapest, with a deep red "ruby" color.
  • White port is a not-so-well-known variety, and it is a shame. You will find a sweet and a dry varietal, the latter of which mixes well with tonic water and should be served chilled (if drunk alone) or with lots of ice (with tonic), commonly used as an aperitif.

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    Portugal Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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