By Roger Wilcoâ€™s Wine Guy and Somm,Â Jimmy Quaile.
Officially, real port wine comes only from the Douro region in Portugal.Â Port is a fortified wine, which means itâ€™s a wine that begins production like any other wine but brandy is added early to stop fermentation. This raises the alcohol level and leaves sugars un-fermented, resulting in a sweet wine. There are variations, but the most common are Ruby and Tawny.
As you might guess from the name, Ruby Port is a red Port with deep, dark purplish color and has rich berry flavors.
Tawny Port is aged in casks or vats, where oxygen contact transforms the the color, aromas and flavors of the wine. Â AÂ Tawny typically has a brown hue and aromas and flavors such as caramel, honey, and butterscotch.
Vintage Port is a Port that is made of blended grapes which are all from the same vintage year. The best grapes, from the best vineyards in the best years come together to create a Vintage Port.Â Historically, Vintage Ports are are only â€œdeclaredâ€ every three out of ten years on average. A classification that is commonly mistaken for â€œVintage Portâ€ Â is aÂ â€œLate Bottled Vintageâ€ Port. Â AnÂ LBVÂ is made with grapes from a single vintage and spends 4-6 years in oak before it is bottled and released. Late Bottled Vintage Port has a great QPR (Quality/Price Ratio).