Sunday, April 25, 2010


If you're a wine enthusiast, here's something new to add to your repertoire:  Port.  This wine traditionally comes from Portugal and is normally red with a sweet or semi-sweet taste.  It has a higher alcohol content than most other wines (18 to 22 percent) and is fortified with a brandy-type liquor.  It's a nice after dinner treat, especially when served with dark fruits (think dried cherries) and dark chocolate.  Since it's fortified with liquor, it has a longer shelf life than most wines (weeks, not days), which is great because this wine should be enjoyed in small quantities (about 2 to 4 ounces per serving) due to its strong taste and high alcohol content.

I was introduced to Port at a wine tasting a few months ago.  Since then, I've identified two affordable brands (less than $15) that can introduce you to the wonderful world of Port.  One bottle will yield many servings, so it can also be a great deal in these tough economic times.

Osborne Ruby Port was the first Port I tasted.  It's a beautiful dark red (almost burgundy) and the flavor reminds me of ripe sweet cherries.  It's sweet, but not to the point that it overshadows your dessert.  I've enjoyed this wine with a square of dark chocolate and I think it makes a great dessert and is the perfect ending to a nice meal.

I received a bottle of Fonseca as a birthday present this year.  Fonseca reminds me of raisins and spicy dark fruit.  It's also great with chocolate and dried fruits.

I'm still learning about Port. There are other varieties:  white, tawny, semi-sweet.  There are also varieties that come from countries other than Portugal.  And, of course, there are varieties with vintages that have been aged for a long time and cost more money.

I'm just a beginner, so I'm encouraging those of you who enjoy wine to consider serving yourself a (small) glass of Port with dessert.  There are even special smaller wine glasses for Port.  (Note to self:  I need one.)


  1. i've only had port once, and i didn't like it. but i like to give things more than one try, i'll look into it

  2. Give it another try. I've had some Ports that weren't too good, but I've enjoyed other brands.


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