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Port Wine

Port Wines Come From Portugal

The Douro River Valley which is located in the northern part of Portugal is where the mixture of grapes is grown to produce port wine. The wine was made for shipping reasons and to some people's surprise reached beyond Europe and into the United States, Asia, Australian and several other places. Port wine for the beginner, is traditionally served as a dessert wine, it is known for the sipping wine at home get-togethers and after work outings. Port wine is different from other types of wine because it has a higher than average alcohol content; the majority range between 19% and 22% by volume. The ingredients and flavors added to the wine can make it a very sweet wine. The price points very depending on the different styles of port wine you like.

Tawny Port Wines

Tawny Ports are lighter in color, older, and distinctly drier than Rubies. Tawny Ports, which is very similar to Rubies, have been know not to improve with added bottle age and are remarkably stable once opened. The difference between a Vintage Port from one producer and another is merely the difference in "house style," in the same way that the style of a Brut Champagne varies from one house and another. Tawny Ports are often served after dinner, either alone or with desserts that are quite sweet like chocolates. Tawny Reserve port has been known to age for a minimum of seven years in wooden barrels, this is where it takes on a more nutty flavor. The older the Tawny becomes, it takes on more of a pale color, which adds to more of a delicate flavor and creates a drier wine which makes the wine more expensive for the bottle. Where rainfall tends to be about 28 inches a year, which is very low for most counties, is where most of the high quality Tawny, LBV and Vintage ports are made.

Do You Like Chocolate with Your Wine

The years of association in various capacities that I have with wine, I've heard numerous debates on the issue, both for and against the rather contentious chocolate and wine pairing. Spending several years in a bottle helps the vintage port take on the aromas of chocolate, cocoa and coffee. Traditionally, Port is served with a strong blue cheese such as Stilton, or fruit and chocolate.

Ports around the world are produced in a similar style like Champagne, but are considered fake Ports. While these pretenders may be somewhat aromatic and flavorful, they fail to capture the delicate balance between elegance and power of a true Port wine. Remember that port wine is very flavorsome on its own and can be enjoyed for several different occasions. The best vintage port wines will not reach their peak of maturity for 20, 30 and sometimes even 40 years. Vintage Ports, which account for only two percent of all Port wines made. These wines age briefly in wood and then spend several years maturing in a bottle. While aging in wood, port wine's fruity scent develops through oxidation to make a bouquet that is reminiscent of dried fruit, wood, and special spices.

About the Author

Alyssa Nair has written articles on the finest wines and accessories. Read the helpful tips and advice about homemade wines, how to grow your own grapes or building your own wine cellars