The term Port Wine basically refers to a peculiar type of wine produced in Douro Valley of Portugal. This is a Portuguese fortified wine that can either be red, sweet or dry. It comes even in white variants and as semi-dry. Fortified wines made in a manner similar to Port wine is also found in Argentina, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere however under EU regulations, these wines cannot be labeled as Port or Porto wines.

Roughly speaking Port wines can be classified into bottle aged and barrel aged ports. The latter is usually characterized by a nuttier fragrance and made for immediate consumption while the former is similar in its fragrance and flavors to red wines that is best savored after adequate aging.

A particularly special type of Port wine is the Vintage port. Although, this type of wine accounts for just 2 percent of total port production, it is still worthwhile knowing what vintage ports are all about. Most vintage branded ports are aged for no more than two and half years inside a barrel and then left to age in a bottle for over 10 to 40 years so that they develop a proper taste. This adds complexity to the taste while retaining the dark red color that port wine is so well known by.

Slightly cheaper than Vintage ports is the Single Quinta Vintage that is usually made from a single estate and bottled soon after distillation. These bottles sell cheaper because they are slightly less aged than Vintage ports. However, some of the quinta bottles have been known in the past to outplay proper Vintage collections. Traditionally, vintage ports from Duoro Valley are all single quinta wines and are sold as high end wines. 

Most of the characteristic complex flavors of vintage port comes from the slow aging it experiences inside each bottle. However, because of the presence of precipitates in vintage ports, it is first decanted and then poured to serve.


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