Quick Recipes and Easy

Port – A Short Story

The Origin of Port
Port came originally from the Douro Valley in Portugal, near the Spanish border. Port was developed by seafarers by adding brandy to wine so that the wine would remain in a drinking condition for long periods of time in changing environments. Wines altered like this are known as fortified wines. The first ports were commercially produced in the 17th century.

Grapes used for Port
Both red and white grapes are used to produce port. It is kept in oak for a small time, blended with other wines to achieve a consistent taste, fortified and aged in bottles. There is some debate, as there should be, about which grapes produce the best port.

Drinking Port
Port should be loved in a port sipper or a narrow glass so that less of the liquid is exposed to air. A liquid temperature between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius is considered the best. Port can be served with a variety of cheeses or chocolates, depending on taste.

Types of Port
Ruby Port is the most basic of port styles. This is made with a blend of red grape varieties and is blended from several years. It is not usually aged to any fantastic degree, and tends to taste of berries, with light tannins.

Tawny Port is a ruby port that has been aged for several years in small oak barrels. This gives the port a tawny color, as well as a buttery, nutty caramel flavor. These are usually sweet.
Vintage Port is the high end of port releases. Only the best years are declared a vintage and used for this purpose. All of the grapes from a single harvest are used in a given wine. This wine is aged in oak and then aged in the bottle. White Port is made from a selection of white grape varieties, and is then aged and fortified. It is typically a simple multi-year blend of vintages, can be sweet or dry.

Storing Port
Port is sold in bottles, small casks and barrels. As can be seen some ports need to be consumed soon after opening, particularly ruby ports (a month) and to some extent tawny ports (a few months). Port should be store in the same way as wine, ie., in a cool, dark, medium humidity, constant temperature space.

But, many connoisseurs claim that further aging of ports, particularly vintage port can be achieved by using a barrel. Traditionalists will only use oak barrels whilst others have used both stainless steel and glass barrels (as they are cheaper) with all kinds of additives.
Port barrel keepers usually end up with a secret recipe for their port by mixing varying quantities of either one or more ports with brandy or marsala, and other special ingredients to achieve a unique taste.

It does not matter how you delight in port, or where you delight in it, or whom you delight in it with – just delight in in moderation, because tomorrow will be a new day.

We are researching this incredible product following some discussions with friends recently and found that Port had an fascinating tale to share. The debate about how to produce a excellent port from an inexpensive port using a port barrel at home is fascinating as is the use of port sippers by some keen port lovers who like to taste port as it was intended by the maker. For more information go to enjoyingport.googlepages.com enjoyingport.googlepages.com and delight in.

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