Our selections of the best Port Wines
Port wine, also known as “port”, is a fortified wine, that is, a wine to which, during its fermentation process, brandy is added, thereby achieving a more stable wine, capable of resisting in good condition longer. Below, you will find a selection of the best Ports, so you can choose the one you like the most.
1. Graham’s Tawny Port 10 years
Graham’s could be the best Port wine brand, having been awarded the Drinks International medal for the world’s most admired brand. The winery, founded in 1820, continues to produce wines in the traditional style, obtained from the monastery of Lamego, which consists of including brandy during fermentation.
The 10-year-old Tawny Port is a wine with the Portugal Denomination of Origin, with a 10-year maturation process in oak barrels and after which it achieves a balance between the harshest flavor of the young wine and the sweet and vanilla touches. of matured wines.
For its preparation, the master blender Charles Symington uses a base of wines with a long maturation period, to obtain a Port with a fruity flavor, with notes of vanilla, citrus and stone fruit.
2. Sandeman Porto White
Sandeman White could be the best Port wine for lovers of the white variety, as it is made following the traditional method, Porto White. The white grapes grown in the Douro Valley are picked by hand, destemmed and pressed before fermentation at a controlled temperature. Next, alcohol is added to balance the must and it is left to rest for a whole year, until it is transferred to oak barrels for maturation.
The result is a very light straw colored Port wine with an aroma of tropical fruits and hints of vanilla. In the mouth, it has a very fresh flavor, with crisp notes of fruit and a natural sweet touch that comes from the grapes.
It should be drunk fresh, although it can be enjoyed with tonic water, lemon and ice. It is also a good pairing for seafood or cheese.
3. Ferreira Tawny Fortified Port Wine
For those who are looking for what Port wine to buy as a gift to a lover of good Port, the Ferreira Tawny could be a good option. It is a young wine made with Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão grape varieties, which give it its characteristic woody tone.
The wine ages for 2 years in steel containers and then matures in oak barrels, in a short process, due to the rapid oxidation of Tawny-type wines. The result is an amber colored wine with a flavor reminiscent of nuts, especially walnuts and almonds. On the nose, it has sweet notes of coconut and coffee.
Due to its strong and generous flavor, it is a wine that pairs very well with all kinds of creamy dishes, especially if they include strong cheeses or nuts, with smoked salmon and with all kinds of desserts.
4. Taylor’s Chip Dry Fortified Port Wine
The Chip Dry from the Taylor cellars was launched in 1932 and it is a white wine that is made with Portuguese grape varieties, but that is fermented for longer than usual, so it acquires a drier and stronger flavor. This could be one of the best Port wines of 2022, for lovers of fruity wines.
In the glass, it has a very light straw-gold color, with greenish tones and a delicate nose, in which the aromas of fresh fruit stand out, together with the complex touches of oak wood, which are characteristic of white Ports. On the palate it is fresh and with a slightly dry finish.
It is a highly appreciated wine for aperitifs, as long as it is served very cold and in a large glass, it pairs very well with olives or almonds. Very fresh cocktails can also be prepared.
5. Taylor’s Port wine 10 years Fortified
Taylor’s 10-Year-Old Tawny could be the best Port wine of the moment for lovers of fortified and Tawny-type wines, characterized by their aging in oak barrels, which gives them a complex flavor, with notes of wood and very aromatic aromas. intense notes of ripe fruit, such as peaches or figs. As a base, old wines from the Taylor’s cellars are used, which are stored in the cellars of Vila Nova Gaia, opposite the city of Porto, for 10 years.
Thanks to this unique aging process, the wine takes on a shade between amber and red, known as tile color or tawny, in English, and from which this variety of Port wines takes its name. It is a very pleasant wine, which on the nose has aromas of wild fruits, nuts, chocolate and oak wood, perfect to accompany desserts and sweets.
6. Ferreira Porto Ruby
Ferreira’s Ruby Port is made with some of the best Red grape varieties such as Roriz, Amarela or Barroca, so the result is a very generous wine, with a very showy ruby tone. This could be the best value for money Port wine, as the Ferreira wineries are known for the richness of their wines, which respect the traditional winemaking methods of the Porto e Douro area.
Thanks to the selection of base wines and the quality of the grapes, it offers a very intense aroma, reminiscent of ripe fruit, which refines and becomes complex as the aromas of oak wood appear. In addition, it is a full-bodied, rich wine with a balanced and sweet final touch, reminiscent of chocolate. On the other hand, it is an ideal pairing for all kinds of creamy cheeses and fruit or chocolate desserts.
7. Sandeman Tawny Fortified Port Wine
If you’re wondering what the best Tawny Port is, Sandeman’s could be the answer. It is a fruity and balanced wine, winner of the gold medal at the Berlin Wine Trophy in 2009. The Sandeman cellars have the experience of seven generations of masters and the silhouette of the Don, which appears on the label, is one of the most representatives of Porto.
It is made with a base of wines of different ages from the Sandeman wineries, which are chosen by hand with aging ranging from 3 to 7 years. The result is a balanced wine, with aromas of red fruits, plums and strawberries. In the mouth, the flavors of red fruits and the final woody touch stand out.
It is an ideal wine to accompany nuts, fresh or creamy cheeses, stone fruit and pure chocolates.
8. Pinord Porto Dos Santos Liqueur Sweet
Pinord has a long tradition of making sweet wines. In a particular way, this Tawny-type Port distills all the characteristic flavor of these Portuguese wines. Without ceasing to be one of the cheapest Port wines, in it you can appreciate the typical characteristics of the grapes of the Porto region and that very personal flavor that is obtained during aging and aging.
The Porto Dos Santos de Pinord goes through an aging process of between 15 and 20 years, and during this time it acquires that typical tile color of Tawny wines, in addition to its aromas of oak and nuts. On the other hand, its balanced flavor between sweet and dry is reminiscent of dark chocolate, nuts and ripe fruits.
It is a perfect wine to drink neat, with a little ice or fresh, but also to pair with chocolates, sweet fruits, nuts and all kinds of pastries.
9. Ferreira Doña Antonia Porto wine 10 years
It may not be one of the cheapest options on the list, but Doña Antonia might be one of the best Tawny Ports on the market. The Ferreira wineries have more than 250 years of experience in the production of this type of wine and their Ports have won many awards, such as the Silver Medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in 2014.
Made with a selection of red grape wines, it goes through a process of balancing with alcohol and aging in oak barrels. The result is a red wine with aromas of ripe fruit, flowers, spices and nuts. On the palate it is fresh, with a good balance between sweet and dry notes, with a long finish.
It is a wine to accompany strong starters such as pâtés or foie gras, cured cheeses and desserts.
10. Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserve Tawny
Made following the traditional Port wine method, with hand-picked and destemmed red variety grapes. The wines used as a base have different degrees of aging, between 4 and 12 years with an average age of 7, and are tasted by the master blenders before their selection. After spending several years in oak barrels, a generous and balanced wine is obtained, with all the characteristics of the Oporto Designation of Origin.
In the glass it is deep red, with aromas of plums, apricots, jam and flowers, and an intense finish of wood, spices and nuts. On the palate it is a full-bodied wine, very balanced and with a long aftertaste in which sweet and dry flavors are balanced, although dried fruits predominate.
It can be taken alone, with ice or as an accompaniment to starters, nuts, desserts and cheeses.
Origin and Use
Once our comparison of Port wines is over, we continue with a guide in which we will explain the origin of this typical sweet wine from the coastal area of Portugal, as well as some of its blends, the best way to preserve the bottles so that they last and its nutritional value.
Strabo, a historian of classical Greece, after a visit to the Iberian Peninsula, already wrote that the inhabitants of the western area drank wine two thousand years ago. Later, when the Romans arrived in Portugal in the 2nd century BC, they settled on the banks of the Douro (Douro) river and began to cultivate vines.
Already in 1678, when France and England went to war, Port wine would appear in that area. Due to the war, in England there was a shortage of wine, since French wine used to be consumed there. The English therefore resorted to trading in Portuguese wines, which they exchanged for dried cod. However, the journey from the Portuguese shores was longer than through the English Channel, so the wine often lost flavor or turned sour.
It was then that the Liverpool merchants found a solution to the problem. It was a technique that the monks of the Portuguese monastery of Lamego had been using for centuries and that consisted of mixing alcohol with the wine during its fermentation to stop it. The monks used to use brandy to stop the fermentation, but the merchants began to use brandy, since it was cheaper.
By cutting the fermentation process, a more balanced and strong wine was created. With a higher alcohol content, sometimes above 24 degrees, and sweeter, since the grape sugars had not finished fermenting. This wine also held up better on boat trips and did not spoil. This caused the creation of a large British colony in Portugal, which was dedicated for centuries to the production of Port wines.
In this guide to buying the best Port wine, a selection of some of the best combinations could not be missing. First of all, it is important to know that Port wine should be drunk cool, between 6 and 10 degrees. In this way you can enjoy the intensity of its sweet and woody flavors. It can also be drunk with a little ice and lemon, since they are strong wines with a very sparkling flavor.
Among the most famous cocktails we find the Jim Jones, which is prepared with 3 parts vodka, one curaçao and one port wine. To finish, add two dashes of angostura and mix well, to be served in a Martini-type glass.
The next cocktail is the Port Wine Sangaree, which is made with two parts of Port, one teaspoon of brandy, one of water and a half of sugar, mixed with sparkling water and served in a tall glass.
Storage time depends a lot on the type of Port and how much it costs. For example, an inexpensive Ruby type wine will not last more than 10 days open. Tawnys can last up to 4 months, as long as they are kept upright and in the fridge.
A glass of Port wine (105 ml) contains 165 calories, 14.1 grams of carbohydrates, 0.21 grams of protein, 8.01 grams of sugar and no fat. It also contains 9 mg of sodium and 95 mg of potassium.
Port wine has an alcohol concentration of over 20%, so it is recommended to consume responsibly. You should never drive or operate heavy machinery after consuming Port wine, as this could cause an accident.