Though Portugal is not a large country, it is home to the most powerful wines in the world, simply termed, Port. Port is a dessert wine that is produced from blends of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Cao among other grapes. Port is usually eighteen to twenty percent alcohol. Port can be red or white, but the vast majority of Port is red. Port comes in a wide range of styles, but these styles can be easily organized into two main types: wood aged Ports and bottle aged Ports. Bottle aged ports are generally only aged for a small amount of time in wood, usually two winters. Producers intend for consumers to age bottle aged ports before consumption. There are two main types of bottle aged Ports: vintage and single Quinta. Vintage ports are only produced in the best years; only about three vintages in every decade are of high enough quality for Port producers to declare a vintage. The other years, Port producers often take the grapes from the best vineyard and make a vintage Port with grapes from that vineyard only; these Ports are called single Quintas.
There are many varieties of wood aged ports, including Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), ruby, tawny, and the rare Colheita (single vintage tawny). All of these wines are ready for consumption at the date of purchase, and the time spent in wood varies depending on the style.
Portugal produces red and white wines besides Port. Portugal produces Vinho Verde, a young underripe wine that comes in red and white varieties. The white is certainly the most popular and has has high acidity and often a touch of ‘spritz,' or bubbles. Additionally, the world outside of Portugal is seeing more wines made from its various red port grapes. Many of these wines and high in acid and flavor and make great accompaniments to food.
"An exceptionally fine old tawny blend, aged for an average of 10 years in oak casks. Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. Excellent with soft cheeses such as brie; and a superb dessert wine, particularly with dishes made with coffee or almonds, Taylor 10 Year Old Tawny is delicious served lightly chilled at the end of the meal."
"This wine is rich and full of dark berry fruit and smooth tannins. Tar, blackberry, spice and mocha on the nose. Spice and blackberry on the palate and finish. Full bodied with some acidity."
"91 Points- Wine & Spirits Magazine With lots of powerful cherry and plum fruit flavours, followed by a warming complexity and a beautifully balanced, sweet finish, this is what port, and Christmas, is all about!"
"93 Pts. WA. A sweet style of aged tawny, it has rich caramel flavors that combine with sultanas and almonds to give a ripe and generous wine. It has kept plenty of fresh fruitiness while moving towards wood aging."
"92 Pts. WS. Roasted sesame seed notes pervade the languid flavors of dried apricot, cherry paste and butter cream. Intense toffee accents show on the supple finish, with hints of Bourbon vanilla. A bit of a throwback, but distinctively rich and complex."
"A ripe and spicy style, with red plum and briary flavors that take on some savory herbal accents. Offers a short, juicy finish."
"Wine Spectator - 91 points Ruby-colored, with grape, dark chocolate and plum. Full and chewy. Tannins are still there and need to mellow. Medium-sweet and grapey. A little one-dimensional still, but impressive."
"95 Points- Wine Enthusiast. Remarkably, this is able to show age and long cask aging, but the flavor is still here: figs and honey, balanced out with burnt caramel aged acidity and a rich (but not sweet) finish. Excellent, top quality aged tawny. Editors' Choice"
"Intense and deep ruby color. On the nose, rich perfumed, packed with red and black fruits. Sweet and bursting of flavors of black berries and black currants balanced by firm tannins. Long and lingering velvety smooth finish."
"Delicate, earthy, floral aromas of orchid, clementine, cedar, and chocolate nuts with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length beets, chocolate, and earth finish with soft tannins and light oak. A solid dry sipper or table wine."