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Port wine is a fortified wine and naturally produced exclusively from grapes from the Douro Wine Region, in northern Portugal about 100 miles east of Porto. Ruler and Pinion are the main centers of production, but some of the best vineyards lie in th...

Port wine

Port wine is a type of fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern regions of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine or after dinner drink. Port wine is also commonly used in cooking, and can be found in many recipes calling for red wine. The alcohol level of port wine ranges from 18% to 25% depending on the style. Port wines are produced in Portugal, Germany, Australia, and California.

Port wine originated in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. The exact origins of port wine are unknown. Some historians believe that the Romans first produced a similar fortified wine in their colonies in southern and southwestern Europe. Port wine may have been a product of the monks who first cultivated the Douro Valley. The term "porto" was used to refer to this fortified wine in British India, where it was a favorite of the British and Anglo-Indians in colonial days. The first recorded mention of port is in the minutes of a meeting at the "Ordinariate of the Douro" in 1703. However, there is no documentary evidence that port wine was known or produced before the 18th century. English merchants bought port from Portugal and distributed it widely throughout the British Empire. Port became popular in Great Britain, where it was traditionally served as a digestive after dinner. The British Royal Navy used port as a ration during sea journeys. A typical serving was of a half-pint per day, as needed "to prevent the effects of scurvy". Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region, which may be designated "Vinho Regional" (VR) if it complies with certain production standards. The wine is fermented and aged in barrels for a minimum of two years, often much longer. The resulting blend may be bottled with no aging, but will commonly be aged further in bottle before release. Port is produced in Portugal, under its legal "Denominação de Origem Controlada" (DOC) classification of Porto, and also in the Douro region of northern Portugal. A fortified wine from Portugal, made from black grapes grown in the Douro valley near the Spanish border. This region is known for producing many of the world's finest fortified wines, including Port, Madeira and the unfortified, but similarly aged Tawny port.

When it comes to food pairing, port wines are versatile and can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes. For example, try pairing a tawny port with roasted meats or a ruby port with chocolate desserts. If you're not sure what to serve with your port, ask us by email for recommendations.

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