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What comes to mind when you think of Portugal? Great football, custard pastries and of course the famous fortified wine, Port. Port-style wines are made across the world, but they have to be made in Portugal to be officially certified.
The Duoro region is where Port is traditionally made. It is created by adding a distilled grape spirit to the wine base; the spirit stops the fermentation process in its tracks and is what fortifies the wine and gives it its distinctive sweet taste. No one grape is used to create Port, in fact there are many types winemakers can choose from including Tempranillo and Tinta Barroca. These are used to make the base for red port, whereas grapes such as Rabigato and Gouveio are used for its white counterparts.
This type of wine comes in a number of different varieties. Ruby port is the least expensive, most exported and often stored in steel containers. The best vintage rubies are aged in wooden barrels for a number of years.
Tawny ports are aged in wooden barrels, which means they gradually oxidise and this contributes to their beautiful brown colour and nutty flavours.
Vintage ports are aged in barrels for one to two years which is then continued in the bottle for up to another 40 years. Of all Ports they are the darkest, having a deep ruby hue. The flavours can intensify for years after being bottled, so good things do come to those who wait.
Read on to find out more about port, its origins and our selection at Fine Wines Direct UK.
The Duoro wine region is officially categorised into three different zones, each with its own unique climate, growing season and grapes.
The wettest subregion, Baixo Corgo has on average more than 30 inches of rain a year. Because of this it is cooler than the other reasons and mostly produces lower quality ruby and tawny varieties.
The central region in the Duoro Valley, the grapes grown in this area are thought of as being much higher quality than in Baixo and many Vintage bottles are produced here.
Otherwise known as Upper Duoro, this is located to the east and in fact reaches all the way to the Spanish border, is hotter and drier than the other subregions and all types of port are produced there.
We know you know – cheese goes impeccably well with Port. Depending on your favoured style, we’ve drawn up some ideas for delicious combinations.
As well as the classic cheese and port combination, these kinds of wines work terrifically well with spicy, salty dishes or desserts such as creme brulee.
We’ve all seen the tiny glass held by Churchill when he enjoyed a nice glass of one of his favourite tipples – port. But what’s the benefit of those short stemmed glasses?
Essentially like a shrunken wine glass, the traditional Port glass was designed for a number of purposes. The small bowl of the glass with a narrow rim is designed to make the drink’s bouquet more prominent, as well as feeling deliciously decadent in your hand. The glass is also stemmed and designed to be held there, in order to avoid your drink being affected by the heat of your hand.
Have conversation as scintillating as your wine selection at your next dinner party, and let us tell you something you might not already know about the world’s favourite fortified wine.
Niepoort is the only independent wine company in the Duoro Valley, known as Portugal’s hub of port making. Still a family run business, Niepoort has been passed down from generation to generation and some of the vines they own are more than 80 years old.
We take time to curate the finest selection of wines and port is no exception. A lighter textured and slightly dry wine, Graham Tawny Port offers a fine balance between fruitiness and nuttiness, is incredibly versatile and can be drunk at almost any occasion. If you’re on a quest for some unbeatable port, try Graham Tawny 20 year old Port. Sweet and smooth on the palate, this port has a delightful bouquet with a nutty character and just a hint of orange peel.
Why buy from anywhere else when we have over 100 years of experience in the wine industry. We want our customers to be able to enjoy high quality wine no matter their taste or budget, and we’ve worked hard to cultivate an enviable selection of some of the finest wines from around the world.
Many wines we stock you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the UK. Working exclusively with vineyard owners and wine producers, we work closely to bring you only the best quality products. You’re in safe hands with us, there’s no better place to buy port wine online.
If you’d prefer to buy your wine in person, we would be more than happy to see you in our shop in Cardiff. You can have a chat with a member of our friendly expert team who can discuss your needs and advise on what wine would suit you best.
On top of our outstanding veggie wine selection, we also offer a fantastic array of sweet and organic wines. We know how difficult it can be to choose when faced with such a diverse collection, which is why we also offer mixed cases. Our experts can curate the perfect range to suit your tastes, and you’ll discover new and exciting wines in the process.