Port Wine is a fortified, red or white wine made with the grape varieties that grow specifically in northern Portugal. The port grapes are picked and made into wine, and then fortified. The wine ferments at the farms where the grapes grow, called quintas. For the most part, port is blended and aged in the cellars. The taste of port ranges from fruity and sweet to complex and dry.Port wine is a sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.
How to Select
Good port will be sweet but not cloying. An acidity that will make your mouth water balances the sweetness. Tannin from the stems and skin of grapes will have the effect of drying your mouth in a very young wine but will mellow as the wine matures.
· A sweet wine, Port is normally consumed after dinner.
· Served in a cordial glass, it is sipped, rather than drunk, from a wine glass.
· Sipping slows down the assimilation of alcohol into the bloodstream.
· The richness of the wine is enhanced by serving nuts, dried fruit, and cheese.
· Chocolate is a double-barreled favorite, but notice that dark chocolate is a better match than sweet milk chocolate.
· What better way to toast the new century than with a glass that holds remembrance of the past and the dream of the future. Port is usually enjoyed before or after the entrée.
· A rich blue cheese, such as Stilton, is probably the best-known accompaniment to port wine but it is certainly not the only one.
· Port wine also adds a wonderful flavour as an ingredient in many dishes, both sweet and savoury.
· It can also be used to make a cool refreshing drink for a warm summer's day called a port splash.
How to Store
Port, like other wine should be stored in a cool, but not cold, dark location (as light can damage the port), with a steady temperature (such as a cellar), lying the bottle on its side if the bottle has a cork, or standing up if stoppered once opened, port wines must be consumed within a short period of time. Those with stoppers can be kept for a couple of months in a dark place, but if it has a cork it must be consumed sooner.
By storing with the label up, you can identify the port without disturbing the bottle. More important, however, any sediment in the port collects in the lowest part of the bottle. When you pick the wine up, carry and decant it, you should hold the bottle in the same position with the label up. That way the sediment will stay in the same place and you can pour the port off it more easily.