Port wine is part of our culture for centuries. Brought by the Portuguese court in 1808 when they arrived in Brazil escaping from Napoleon’s troops this kind of wine quickly became a digestive wine for the wealthier classes of the empire. Even today, in São Luiz, Maranhão, and other parts of the country there is a tradition of buying a Vintage or Colheita Port of the birth year of daughter to be opened only on her wedding day after the cake cutting.
However, in the course of time it has been falling by the wayside, but now coming back to the shelves after a strong marketing campaign of Portuguese wines made by the Association of Wine of Portugal and also some trade agreements between the two countries. Besides the shelves, you can find increasingly Porto in clubs and restaurants served in cocktails, they usually are thewhites and rosés Porto.
Well .. but for those who are new to product or only drank at his grandparents’ house, there’s a few simple tips to differentiate one from the other port. Or rather, one style of another.
Let’s start at the Porto style red that is divided into:
• With harvest date: Vintage, LBV and Colheita
Ruby – This wine takes its name from its color gemstone which has great similarity. It is a young wine, full bodied and fruity, obtained by blending different harvests. Being 2-6 years in large tanks up to 700 million liters called Balseiros. This wine after bottling is ready to be enjoyed as it does not evolve in the bottle.
Tawny – The English word “tawny” means blondish. The Tawny is obtained from musts that age in oak casks, called Pipas. The PipAs has a capacity of 500 liters and are not fully fulfilled due to that the aging process is faster than Ruby and because of oxidation, its color will acquire, little by little, orange shades, close the blondish. With an average age of 3 years are elegant and delicate. There are Tawny with indication of age, “10,” “20,” “30” and “Over 40 years”. This is a special kind of kind and usually is a blend chosen by the winemaker.
Vintage: This wine is a Ruby, but is made from a single harvest in years of exceptional harvests when the Instituto do Vinho do Douro e Porto (IVDP) certifies that quality and thereby makes it a treasure. After two years of staying in contact with the wood, continues its aging in bottle. They are young wines of superior quality.
LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) – This wine is a Ruby that originates only from the crop year indicated on the bottle. Before bottling the LBV remains in wood for 4-6 years, maturation time which gives a higher evolution of color. These are wines of intense color, tannins and slightly oxidative which stems from its aging
Colheita- Produced from a single harvest, necessarily indicated on the label, but, unlike Vintage, who certifies the quality is the winery. These wines are aged in wood for at least seven years and are bottled only when one intends put them on the market. They feature a tawny color, a mild, delicate flavor, deep and complex.
The Port White and Rosé are poorly understood by consumers and even by wine connoisseurs.Those made from white grapes are sorted according to sugar content. Those sweets are known as much Lágrima then there are the Doce , Meio Seco , Seco e Extra Seco.
An even less known is the Port Rosé. Made from red grapes but with shorter fermentation was launched by the first time on the market in 2008 by Croft for Valentine’s Day. It features a currant color, and, how whites, are widely used for cocktails.
But even if whit this new way to drink Porto beware; the content of alcohol in fortified wines is always up 18 °