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What is Port Wine? | The Wine Virgin
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What is Port Wine?

February 21, 2008

Wine Virgin I was wondering if you could tell me what is port wine?  Is it all wine from Portugal that is what one of my friends says but when I had some port recently it sure seemed to have a bit of a kick. - Matt in Florida

Well Matt your friend’s claim is somewhat grounded in fact but also way off at the same time and that extra kick you mention is something that can get a wine virgin or anyone for that matter into trouble if they are not careful.

You see port is a sweet Portuguese, fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. Port is often served as a dessert wine. Wines in the style of the Portuguese product called port are also produced around the world in several countries-most notably Australia, South Africa, India, Canada and the United States.

Port is produced from grapes like all wines at least initially. The wine is then fortified with much higher alcohol product made from distilled wine (quite often cognac).  The goal of this and the effect is to boost the alcohol content.  Port wine is stored and aged, often in barrels and stored for quite a long time before being bottled.

I dearly love a good port but you had better not make the virgin mistake of treating port like chardonnay or you just might wake up regretting the night before in more ways then one.  Try a small glass of Port after a big meal in place of desert some time especially after a nice steak or chops.

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