port wine and douro valley

Port Wine - The Region, History and Flavors

Port Wine has a unique sweet taste, incomparable to any other wine. Its exclusive method of production makes Port Wine one of the best European wines.

There is more than one variety of Port Wine, aside from the most common red one, and all have a very rich taste and sweet flavor. It is typically served as a dessert wine, but is also used as an aperitif and digestif. Some Portuguese dishes also use this wine as a special ingredient, giving an extra flavor to stews, sauces or pastries.
Origins and Production
"During the second half of the 17th century, the first wines known as “Port Wine” began being distributed across Europe. The Windsor treaty, which established a very close and privileged trade alliance between Portugal and England, helped to steadily increase the number of bottles being shipped to England, and from there to other locations. Thus, Port Wine became very popular during the 18th century and continues to be one of the most well-known Portuguese wines across the European continent. To produce this very special wine, more than a hundred types of grapes from the Douro region are used – each one sanctioned for the production. During the wine production the fermentation is stopped by the addition of a liquor called “aguardente” (similar to brandy), which boosts the alcohol content and helps leave residual sugar in the wine. This process allows the production of a unique wine, with an incomparable taste and flavor."
Port Wine Styles
Port Wine has a variety of styles, ranging from Tawny to Ruby and White Port, to the number of years the wine has aged. Although all types have a very rich and intense flavor, the colors range from deep purple to a burgundy shade. The alcohol content usually ranges between 19 and 22% and is higher than unfortified wines. Vintage Port is considered the finest variety of Port and represents only a small percentage of the production, while Ruby Port is the most popular and inexpensive style.
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