A Guide To Port Tasting In Porto, Portugal
Porto, Portugal is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and, of course, its world-famous port wine. Port wine, or simply port, is a fortified wine that has been produced in the Douro Valley since
Porto, Portugal is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and, of course, its world-famous port wine. Port wine, or simply port, is a fortified wine that has been produced in the Douro Valley since the 17th century. While port can be enjoyed all over the world, there is something special about trying it in its birthplace of Porto. In this guide to port tasting in Porto, we will explore the history of port, the different types of port, and tips for experiencing port like a pro.
The History of Port
The history of port dates back to the late 17th century when British wine merchants began adding brandy to wine to preserve it for the long journey back to England. The resulting fortified wine was stronger and sweeter than traditional wines, and it quickly gained popularity in England. As demand grew, British merchants set up shop in Porto, where they worked with local vineyards to produce port. Today, port is still a major export of Portugal, and visitors to Porto have the opportunity to taste the iconic wine in some of the oldest port houses in the world.
The Different Types of Port
There are many different types of port, each with its own unique flavor profile. Tawny port, for example, is aged in wooden casks, which gives it a nutty flavor and a brownish-red color. Ruby port, on the other hand, is aged in bottles, which gives it a rich red color and a fruity, full-bodied flavor. White port is made from white grapes and is typically aged for around three years. There is also vintage port, which is made from grapes from a single vintage year and can be aged for decades. Visitors to Porto can try all of these ports and more at the city\’s many port houses.
Tips for Tasting Port
Tasting port is an experience in itself, and there are a few things to keep in mind when trying this iconic wine. First and foremost, it\’s important to take your time and savor each sip. Many port houses offer tastings with different varieties of port, and it\’s worth trying a few to see which ones you prefer. It\’s also important to remember that port is typically stronger than traditional wines, so it\’s best to take it slow and enjoy it in moderation. Finally, many port houses offer tours and tastings, which can be a great way to learn more about the history and production of port.
The Best Port Houses in Porto
When it comes to port houses in Porto, there are a few that stand out from the rest. One of the oldest and most iconic port houses is Graham\’s, which was founded in 1820. Graham\’s offers tastings of its vintage and tawny ports, as well as tours of its historic cellars. Another top port house is Taylor\’s, which has been producing port since 1692. Visitors to Taylor\’s can enjoy panoramic views of Porto while tasting the house\’s signature vintage and tawny ports. Other top port houses in Porto include Sandeman and Cálem.
Pairing Port with Food
While port is often enjoyed on its own, it can also be paired with food to create a truly unforgettable dining experience. Tawny port pairs well with desserts like caramel and nut tarts, while ruby port is a great match for rich, chocolatey desserts. White port, on the other hand, pairs well with salty foods like olives and almonds. Visitors to Porto can enjoy port with traditional Portuguese dishes like bacalhau (salt cod) and cozido (meat stew).
Buying Port in Porto
Finally, for those who want to take a piece of Porto\’s iconic port wine home with them, there are plenty of options for buying port in the city. Many of the port houses offer bottles of their signature ports for sale, and there are also wine shops throughout the city that sell a wide variety of port. Visitors can also purchase port at the airport duty-free shops before leaving Portugal.
Porto, Portugal is a city steeped in history and culture, and its iconic port wine is an essential part of that heritage. With a history dating back centuries and a variety of unique flavors and styles, port is a must-try for anyone visiting Porto. Whether you\’re sipping port on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Douro River or enjoying it with a traditional Portuguese meal, the experience of drinking port in Porto is one that will stay with you long after you\’ve left the city.