Americans should drink more port wine. If they only knew how great it is, they would. Port isn’t new and it’s not a secret, it just fell out of fashion decades ago, but it’s time for a comeback! Here are four reasons why:
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1. It’s classy.
Port was invented in the 1600s when Britain’s thirst for wine was interrupted by war with France. Britain turned to Portugal for wine, and the Portuguese added brandy to their wine to help it survive the ocean voyage. Turns out the wine tasted great and remained popular even after trade with France was restored. Noblemen and other classy folk have been drinking it ever since.
2. It tastes great.
Port is made by adding flavorless grape spirit to wine halfway through fermentation, which kills the yeast, ends the fermentation, and keeps the wine sweet. Young ruby port has fruity flavors of plum and cherries, followed by a warm and spicy finish thanks to the 20% alcohol. Tawny port is aged for years in barrels, which adds rich flavors of caramel and roasted nuts to the red fruits. Port’s sweetness makes it the perfect pairing for chocolate.
3. It stays good after opening.
If port can survive ocean voyages across the world, it can handle a few months in your home. Ruby ports stay fresh for a few weeks after opening, tawny ports are good for a few months, and aged tawny ports are good for a year after opening.
You can spend a fortune on vintage ports, but you don’t have to. Many respectable producers sell ruby and tawny ports for $10 – 20. So try a bottle and fall in love, then bring one to a party and convert all your friends into port lovers!
Keep an eye out for port reviews this fall from WineKick and The Reverse Wine Snob.
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