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Blog - Four Unique Ways to Enjoy Port

Four Unique Ways to Enjoy Port
By Clive Betteridge 18/10/2016 08:24

Four Unique Ways to Enjoy Port


Port is a beverage that instantly screams class and sophistication as it is a beverage that has been enjoyed by nobility and the upper classes for centuries upon centuries. However, that was then, and this is now, and although it is indeed still a very classy, luxurious, and sophisticated beverage, it is no longer exclusive to nobility and the upper classes. Of course you needn’t be pretentious when it comes to wines, but if you do intend on being pretentious in regards to your alcoholic beverages, make sure it is in regards to fortified wines, also known as ports. Produced exclusively in Portugal, in the Douro Valley, port is a fortified wine that is created when a form of brandy is added to red wine. The reason for this is to increase the alcohol content slightly, without becoming too harsh, as well as to preserve more natural fructose sugars from the grapes. The end result is a much sweeter, and far less harsh-tasting beverage, that is far less vinegary and acidic than regular red wines. It is also aged in a barrel where it can take on qualities of the wood, and of the previous contents of the barrel as well. Now that you know a little more about this beverage, let’s now take a look at a few simple ways to enjoy port and to get the most out of it.


Decant – If you take a look in various stores, as well as antique fairs and auction houses, you will see some truly beautiful glass wine decanters that look absolutely fantastic, and would work an absolute treat with most ports. The idea behind a decanter is not simply to enhance the appearance of the port however, it is to serve another purpose. You see, many vintage ports are will mature and age in the bottle naturally, where you will get what is known as a ‘crusted port’. With this process, natural sediment will form, which will need removing. When you decant the port, you leave the sediment behind in the bottle, which enhances the appearance and allows the tastes and aromas to develop. Some ports however, do not need to be decanted, especially late bottle vintage ports, or tawny ports, because these mature in barrels. This means that the sediment will be left behind in the barrel when the port is bottled.


Enjoy with port sippers – Port is a beverage that really and truly needs to be savoured, so to get the most out of your port, invest in some good quality port sippers. Hand blown sipping liqueur glass sets, for example, are perfect, because they look great, and they let the port breathe. The sippers have a thin glass tube attached to them, which can be used like a straw to sip the port, whilst preventing oxidisation, so you get a more intense and truer flavour. Less oxygen reaches the port via the thin glass tube, so the port is preserved for longer. The sippers not only enhance the flavour, they also look stunning as well, and work very well with modern and stylish glass decanters.


Take a look at our range of port sipper and decanter sets


Enjoy in stews – Port is very much a beverage that should be enjoyed in the colder months of the year, so for the ultimate winter warmer, why not make beef stew with your favourite (reasonably priced) port? Rather than using water to make the liquid gravy, adding a bottle, or even half a bottle, of a good quality port will create the ultimate rich and slightly fruity beef stew, that works an absolute treat with beef. The alcohol will quickly burn off, but the sweet and fruity richness of the port will remain, which makes for a truly wonderful gravy. Obviously you don’t need to spend a fortune on your port in this instance, but if you can find a reasonably priced port, go ahead and treat yourself, as it will make a real difference.


Enjoy with cheese and biscuits – If you really want to impress your friends and family members this holiday season, why not throw a port and wine party? Port was made to be enjoyed with cheese, biscuits, and chutneys, and when you taste to the two together, you’ll know why that is. Port goes particularly well with stilton, brie, and creamy cheeses. Sip on a glass of ruby or tawny port in between mouthfuls of cheese, biscuits, and chutney, and you’ll never enjoy cheese and biscuits without port again.