International Port Day

International Port Day


Today we celebrate Port Wine, probably no other country in the world is as associated with one type of wine as is Portugal. After all, the wine called Port is named after the entire country.

Like Champagne, Port is normally a blended, non-vintage wine. Such names as Vintage Character, Ruby or Reserve will appear on the bottle. The quality of the wine is totally dependent on the producer. Most producers have their own "house style" which is generally consistent from year to year so one can depend on its quality. The wine is a blend of different years and different vineyards, which allows the producer to keep his style intact.

Port grapes are partially fermented and then pure grape brandy is added, fortifying the wine. This stops the fermentation (the conversion of sugar to alcohol) and leaves the unfermented grape sugar in the finished wine. This may sound simple enough, but the quality of grape brandy and the timing of its addition are critical to the finished quality, assuming the quality of the grapes is good to begin with.