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Making Port Wine

This wine guide will help your
wine making job easier

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Some wines are easy to make at home, like watermelon wine, strawberry wine, and blueberry wine. However, ease is not the case when one is making port wine.

Port wine is one of the more difficult wines to make—above all, it takes a lot of patience to see the process through to the end. However, once the final product has been completed, you will have a classy, delectable wine to serve with desserts and cheeses.

Portugal Parentage

Making port wine began in Portugal in the mid fifteenth century. It originated in the northern Douro Valley. However, after the Methuen Treaty of 1703, the port wine making process was introduced to England, where it has been popular ever since.

Practice And Patience

Making port wine is a lengthy process, and it takes practice to get it right. To begin, grapes are picked, smashed, and placed in a machine which chops them into miniscule pieces. The grapes remain in the machine for twenty-four hours, where they begin the fermentation process.

Fermentation must be stopped after half of the grapes’ sugar has gone through the process. This is done using a mixture of wine and clear brandy, which kills the yeast in the wine, thus ending the fermentation process. The resulting port wine is sweet, and only about twenty percent alcohol.

Distinctive Styles

There are many different styles of port wine; they fall into two main categories that are related to the two different port winemaking processes. These two categories are Cask aged and Bottle aged—making this one simple change results in different flavors and characters. Some of the different styles of port wine include: White Port, Aged Tawny Port, Vintage Character Port, Young Tawny Port, Single Quinta Vintage Port, Vintage Port, Late Bottled Vintage Port, Traditional Late Bottled Vintage Port, Ruby Port, Crusted Port, and Garrafeira Port.

Popular Picks

Regardless of the many different styles of port wine, there are a few that remain popular among wine lovers. Such wines include: Smith Woodhouse Vintage Character Port, W. & J. Graham's Tawny Port, Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port, Niepoort Vintage Port, Quinta do Infantado Single Quinta Vintage Port, and Adriano Ramos-Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Port. These wines are classic selections and have a universal and lasting appeal.

Worth Your While

Though making port wine is more difficult and time consuming than other types, making it is still time worth spent. In the end, the quality of the result will exceed your expectations.