Get to know the different Port wine families and learn when to choose each one.
Who has never been hesitant when choosing a Port Wine? This can be a really challenging choice since diversity is one of the most interesting characteristics of this type of wine. We can easily spot differences in colour, richness or intensity of aromas and flavours and even sweetness. To help you in this mission, we introduce you to the different types of Port Wine, which are divided into four large families: Ruby, Tawny, White, and Rosé.
1. Ruby Port Wines
As Ruby Port wines do not have much contact with wood, they are subject to a low level of oxidation, which allows them to keep their dark colour (a more or less intense red) and a very fruity character. In ascending order of quality, we have the Ruby, Special Reserve, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), and Vintage Ports categories. The famous expression “just like Port wine, the older the better” is inspired by Vintage Port. Produced from a single year harvest that is considered exceptional, this wine has enormous potential to develop in the bottle over time. Ruby Port Wines pair very well with desserts with berries, chocolate and hard cheeses.
2. Tawny Port Wines
Tawny Ports wines are aged with a strong presence of wood, which gives them a seductive amber hue. Nutty, spicy woody aromas. The older the wine, the more pronounced these characteristics are. The existing categories are: Tawny, Tawny Special Reserve, Tawny with age indication (10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and 40 years), and Colheita Tawny. When these wines are bottled, they are ready to be consumed and they will continue to age in the bottle. Tawny Port wines pair well with desserts with nuts, spices, eggs, puff pastry, or soft cheeses.
3. White Port Wines
These are more fruity and floral wines with different degrees of sweetness and acidity according to their production process and the more or less prolonged ageing period. As for sweetness, White Port wine can be classified as extra dry white port, white dry port , sweet, or Lágrima (the latter being the sweetest of all). It is also possible to find White wines with an white aged ports (10, 20, 30 or over 40 years old) and Colheita White Ports. Due to its characteristics, this is a type of wine suitable for pairing with savoury aperitifs or with a marked acidic or white fruit component.
4. Rosé Port Wines
These are the youngest family members. Rosé Port wines are easy and uncomplicated wines and they offer a touch of innovation and freshness to the classic glamour of Port wine. Their beautiful pink hue is obtained through a slight extraction of colour from the red grapes traditionally used in the production of Port Wine. They have a very fruity and smooth flavour, with notes of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. These wines should be consumed when they are young and without any evolution in the bottle. They should be drunk very chilled or with ice, being an excellent option as aperitifs or as a base for cocktails.
A Port Wine for every moment Now that you have been introduced to the extensive Port Wine family, have fun getting to know the style of each of the members of this family. You will certainly find a good pair for every occasion. Take a look at the suggestions we have for you at Uva WineShop.