What is a Port Wine?

by Feb 1, 2022News0 comments

DEAR READER,

Let’s start February off with a simple question:

Good morning, Mr. Ferdinand,

What is a Port wine?

-Jacques

Thank you, Jacques, for your brevity. Let’s get down to business!

Ports are an underrated, very particular type of wine made in the Douro Valley, Portugal. Personally, Jacques, I think Port is a miracle. These grapes have been through a lot, as Portugal’s climate can be unforgiving for vines—whether it’s the wild temperature swings between seasons, or the way vines need to be forced as far as 26 feet deep in their search for water (in certain areas, like the Baix Corgo region).

Because of these different terroirs, there is a spectacular range in the country’s Port wines. What makes them similar, however, is not just their origination in Douro Valley. No, Jacques, Port wines are bound by their creation process. See, Port wines are fortified. This means that after the grapes have been crushed and fermented, the small farms of Douro add a neutral spirit to the wine, which adds more alcohol to the beverage, sure—but more importantly, it acts as a natural preservative, killing the remaining yeast and leaving residual sugar in the juice.

What does that mean for us, the drinkers? Well, it means that Ports last longer. You can enjoy a glass after dinner one night, then enjoy another glass weeks later—from the same bottle.

Ports are usually reserved for a post-dinner pairing with dessert—or maybe as a pre-dinner apéritif. The good thing about Port is its variety. They can be tannic, fruit-forward, nutty, red, white—there’s really no limit with a Port. Although you may only see the lower-priced, fruit-forward reds, Jacques, know that if you look harder at your local shops, you’ll be able to spot the finer, better aged alternatives. And, better yet, if you have an occasion in mind—say, tasting fine cheeses—you can find a sweet Port that provides the perfect complement.

Take advantage of Port’s natural varieties and find the wine perfect for your evening, Jacques! And although I am a table wine purist, I must recommend using a sweet Port in a wine cocktail. If you’re going to be mixing wine in with other ingredients, Port might just be the one!     

Keep your questions coming in, folks. Until next week!

-Sommelier Ferdinand. 01.02.22

Learn how wine can be used as a long-term financial asset on the Alti Fine Wine Indexes.

Explore More from Our Blog

They have created the perfect storm for controlled demolition of money

I’m glad to be back talking financial insights, one glass of wine at a time. First they shut down the economy, to save lives. With the closure of the economy, production ceased. To compensate for non-production or reduced production, people were paid not to lose...

Spanish Cava Sparkling Wine: What You Need to Know!

Spanish Cava Sparkling Wine: What You Need to Know!

What to Expect for Fine Wine Investments in 2022

Let’s face it, between an ongoing COVID pandemic, erratic markets, fires, floods and major humanitarian crises, 2021 was exhausting. And though none of us can be sure what to make of 2022, we can say with confidence that fine and rare wine investments are looking...

Holiday Gift Guide for Fine Wine

It’s that time of year again! And so begins the search for the perfect holiday gift. Something unique, something that shows you truly care. How about a gift that keeps on giving? An investment. Imagine their surprise when you tell them that their gift is resting...

FAMILY-RUN WINERIES

DEAR READER, As I grow immensely in popularity, I’ve noticed more of you interested in my personal life. I didn’t begin e-blogging with this in mind, but I don’t mind indulging every now and then. I imagine my intellect intimidates a lot of you, so maybe shedding some...

The Truth about Fine Wine

Fine wine. What does that really mean? The truth is, as words, they don’t mean much. There is no official classification system for the title “fine wine.” It’s not like the regulated usage of “Premier Cru” or “Grand Cru Classé,” for example, rather anyone can throw it...

Maipo Valley Reds

DEAR READER, I am again-and-again charmed by my readers’ curiosity! It reminds me of being a young sommelier, ready to take on the world one glass at a time. I know far too much to feel that way again—but at least I can experience a shred of it through you all! Dear...

Liquid Harmony

Harmony. Think Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Think Picasso's The Old Guitarist. It’s that moment when various elements come together to create magic. And magic really is the word, no? Wine can also sip in harmony, and I can think of no better example than the...

Where Does the Phrase “Aging Like Fine Wine” Originate?

DEAR READER, I received this charming question from an inquisitive reader last week. Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, Where does the phrase “aging like fine wine” originate? It’s so fun! -Imani I just love your question! What a lively spirit you have, Imani! I’m more of a...

NOSTALGIA AND THE ADELAIDE DOURO RED

DEAR READER, Let’s get down to it! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I respect your point of view, but I must ask: don’t you think worshipping wines is partaking too mightily in the past? Wouldn’t you rather create your own memories than indulge in nostalgia? -Ethan Ethan,...

The Top 10 Wines to Invest In Today

Imagine that back in the day you invested in a case of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon wine. When released, mailing list members had the chance to snag a bottle of this "cult wine" for a mere US$75.00. Fast forward to now, and one bottle alone goes for...

We buy wine with the intention of making money over periods of time.

We buy wine with the intention of making money over periods of time. Rethinking retirement is a famous book of John Piper with the goal to challenge people to have a far greater purpose in life. Rethinking retirement is also an absolute must for Pension funds, because...