The International Kitchen Blog: Wine Wednesday - The Port Wines of Portugal
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Wine Wednesday: The Port Wines of Portugal

Next November 27, 2013 Previous

Port wines may hail from Portugal, but their name actually comes from the city of Oporto along the coast, as that is where the wines are often exported. But there's much more to the wine than the origins of its name.

The fortified Portuguese wine, which guests can learn more about during our cooking vacation "Seaside Cooking in Portugal," dates back to the late 17th century. It's produced in the demarcated region of the Duoro Valley, and the wine gets its sweetness from grape spirits, or brandy, that is added during production.

Port wineDue to its sweetness, Ports are often considered dessert wines, but they can also be enjoyed as an aperitif or an after dinner drink. Some ports, particularly full-bodied Vintage ones, also match well with soft cheeses, while white ports can complement a savory entree. One thing all these different vintages have in common is that their alcohol content is high, typically between 19% and 22%. If you're looking for a wine that has been aged, try the Vintage. For a younger wine, start with Ruby ports.

Our culinary vacation "Seaside Cooking in Portugal" introduces guests to special port wines with a tasting on day three of the itinerary, as well as another wine tasting on day four. Additionally, if you have less time to spend in Portugal, consider a private tour in Lisbon, which includes a premium tasting unlike any other. In addition to sampling five premium port wines, including a tawny — often aged for seven years in wood barrels, you'll discover the best in Portuguese cuisine, such as award-winning cheese and Pata Negra ham.

Cheers! Or, as they say in Portugal, "Tchin Tchin!"

By Liz Hall

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