Port is a fortified wine from the Douro region in Portugal. Grape spirit is added to halt the natural fermentation process leaving more residual sugar than normal wines, creating a sweeter richer higher alcohol wine.
Ruby Port is a blend of young port aged for only a short period and designed to be drunk soon after purchase. They have high acidity and flavours of red and black fruits and sometimes peppery spices or cocoa.
Tawny port is a blend oxidatively aged in small oak barrels for many years, typically 10, 20, 30 or 40. They predominantly have flavours of nuts, coffee, or caramel, and dried fruits.
Vintage port is a single high-quality vintage of ruby Port. Vintages are only declared 2 or 3 times a decade. The weather in the vineyards is the principal determining factor, conditions must be ideal throughout the growing season and the harvest. They are aged for a short time in barrels before being bottled aged for 10 years or more.
Storing vintage Port
Port is best stored in a dark cool place with a constant temperature. Lying on its side and not disturbed or moved until it is used.
Serving and decanting
Stand the bottle upright for up to 30 minutes prior to opening. It’s not uncommon for the cork to break apart when it’s removed.
Slowly pour into a decanter being careful to stop when sediment appears in the bottle neck, light behind the bottle will help. A muslin may be helpful.
Leave to air for 30 minutes before serving.