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While the grapes used to produce port made in Portugal are strictly regulated by the Instituto do Vinho do Porto , wines from outside this region which describe themselves as port may be made from other varieties. Quinta do Vesuvio has declared a vintage every year with the exceptions of and There is a range of styles of white port, from dry to very sweet. Ghost Word The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary. Views Read Edit View history.


Sweet white port and tonic water is a commonly consumed drink in the Porto region. There is a range of styles of white port, from dry to very sweet. Made from traditional white grape varieties, it is fermented for longer than usual to give it a crisp dry finish. Lagrima, meaning "Tears", is the name for the sweetest style of white Port. In addition to this type of wine, there is the White Port Colheita, which is obtained from a single harvest and ages in huge tanks acquiring a straw colour, has mature and elegant aromas and flavours, featuring fruity and wooden notes, and the White Port with an indication of age, which is an elegant, full-bodied and rich Port, obtained from the blend of different wines with the same average age.

When white ports are matured in wood for long periods, the colour darkens, eventually reaching a point where it can be hard to discern from appearance alone whether the original wine was red or white.

Late bottled vintage often referred to simply as LBV was originally wine that had been destined for bottling as vintage port, but because of lack of demand was left in the barrel for longer than had been planned. Over time it has become two distinct styles of wine, both of them bottled between four and six years after the vintage, but one style is fined and filtered before bottling, while the other is not. The accidental origin of late bottled vintage has led to more than one company claiming its invention.

The earliest known reference to a style of port with this name in a merchant's list is to be found in The Wine Society's catalogue from ; which includes Fonseca's Quinta Milieu , bottled in the UK, also in LBV is intended to provide some of the experience of drinking a vintage port but without the need for lengthy bottle ageing. To a limited extent it succeeds, as the extra years of oxidative ageing in barrel does mature the wine more quickly.

Unfiltered LBVs are mostly bottled with conventional driven corks and need to be decanted. After decanting they should be consumed within a few days. Recent bottlings are identified by the label "unfiltered", or "bottle matured", or both.

Since the regulations, bottles that carry the words "bottle matured" must have enjoyed at least three years of bottle maturation before release. Before this style was often marketed as '"traditional", a description that is no longer permitted. Unfiltered LBV will usually be improved by extra years in the bottle. The filtered wine has the advantage of being ready to drink without decanting and is usually bottled in a stoppered bottle that can be easily resealed.

However, many wine experts feel that this convenience comes at a price and believe that the filtration process strips out much of the character of the wine. Typically ready to drink when released, filtered LBV ports tend to be lighter bodied than a vintage port. Filtered LBVs can improve with age, but only to a limited degree. Crusted port is usually a blend of several vintages. Crusted port is bottled unfiltered, and sealed with a driven cork. Like vintage port it needs to be decanted before drinking.

Vintage ports may be aged in barrels or stainless steel for a maximum of two and a half years before bottling, and generally require another 10 to 40 years of aging in the bottle before reaching what is considered a proper drinking age. Since they are potentially aged in cask for only a short time, they retain their dark ruby color and fresh fruit flavours.

Particularly fine vintage ports can continue to gain complexity for many decades after they were bottled. It is not uncommon for 19th-century bottles to still be in perfect condition for consumption. The oldest known vintage port still available from a shipper is the Ferreira. Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a declared vintage year. While it is by far the most renowned type of port, from a volume and revenue standpoint, vintage port accounts for only about two percent of overall port production.

Not every year is declared a vintage in the Douro. The decision on whether to declare a vintage is made early in the second year following the harvest. The decision to declare a vintage is made by each individual port house, often referred to as a "shipper. Much of the complex character of aged vintage port comes from the continued slow decomposition of grape solids in each bottle.

These solids are undesirable when port is consumed, and thus vintage port typically requires a period of settling before decanting and pouring. Single quinta vintage ports are wines that originate from a single estate, unlike the standard bottlings of the port wine houses which can be sourced from a number of quintas.

Single quinta bottlings are used in two ways by producers. Most of the large port wine houses have a single quinta bottling which is only produced in some years when the regular vintage port of the house is not declared.

In those years, wine from their best quinta is still bottled under a vintage designation, rather than being used for simpler port qualities. The term vintage has a distinct meaning in the context of vintage port. While a vintage is simply the year in which a wine is made, most producers of vintage port restrict their production of year-labelled bottlings to only the best years, a few per decade.

Contrast with second wines , where primarily Bordeaux producers release a year-labelled top wine almost every year, but also lesser quality wines in some years.

If a port house decides that its wine is of quality sufficient for a vintage, samples are sent to the IVDP for approval and the house declares the vintage. In very good years, almost all the port houses will declare their wines. In intermediate years, the producers of blended vintage ports will not declare their flagship port, but may declare the vintage of a single quinta, e. Some houses declare their wines in all but the worst years: Quinta do Vesuvio has declared a vintage every year with the exceptions of and Improved wine-making technologies and better weather forecasts during the harvest have increased the number of years in which a vintage can be declared.

Although there have been years when only one or two wines have been declared, it has been over thirty years since there was a year with no declarations at all. The wine producing Douro region is the third oldest protected wine region in the world after the Tokaj-Hegyalja region in Hungary, established in , and Chianti , in Port became very popular in England after the Methuen Treaty of , when merchants were permitted to import it at a low duty, while war with France deprived English wine drinkers of French wine.

British importers could be credited for recognising that a smooth, already fortified wine that would appeal to English palates would survive the trip to London.

In , a Liverpool wine merchant sent two new representatives to Viana do Castelo , north of Oporto, to learn the wine trade. While on a vacation in the Douro, the two gentlemen visited the Abbot of Lamego, who treated them to a "very agreeable, sweetish and extremely smooth" wine," which had been fortified with a distilled spirit.

The two Englishmen were so pleased with the product that they purchased the Abbot's entire lot and shipped it home. The continued English involvement in the port trade can be seen in the names of many port Shippers and brands: Shippers of Dutch and German origin are also prominent, such as Niepoort and Burmester.

The British involvement grew so strong that they formed a trade association that became a gentlemen's club. A few port shippers and producers were also established by native Portuguese families: Ferreira and Quinta do Crasto are among the best. Both Ferreira and Quinta do Crasto can be credited for pioneering the Douro as a table-wine producing region, Ferreira making Barca Velha since and Quinta do Crasto becoming the second producer of note, starting in the early s.

Port, like other wine, should be stored in a cool but not cold, dark location as light can damage the port , at a steady temperature such as a cellar , with the bottle laid on its side if it has a cork, or standing up if it is stoppered.

Tawny port may also be served slightly cooler. Port wines that are unfiltered such as vintage ports, crusted ports and some LBVs form a sediment or crust in the bottle and require decanting. This process also allows the port to breathe. Once opened, port generally lasts longer than unfortified wine, but it is still best consumed within a short period of time.

Tawny, ruby, and LBV ports may keep for several months once opened; because they are aged longer in barrels, these ports have already been exposed to some degree of oxidation.

Old Vintage ports are best consumed within several days of opening, but young Vintage Ports can be kept open for several weeks, if not months when very young.

Tradition in the United Kingdom calls for port being served at a formal dinner to be passed to the left "pass the port to port " and for the bottle or decanter not to touch the table on its way around, [33] though some cultures reject this tradition.

The Port and Douro Wines Institute is an official body belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture of Portugal and is a key institution in promoting the industry and knowledge of making port wine. It was previously known as the Instituto do Vinho do Porto.

Producers of port wine are often called "shippers". In the early history of the port wine trade, many of the most powerful shipping families were British English and Scottish and Irish; this history can still be seen in the names of many of the most famous port wines. Over the years Portuguese, as well as Dutch, German owned shippers have also become prevalent in the port industry. Porto , a World Heritage Site , is home to many famous port houses located near the Douro River , making the shipping of port wine easy.

Some of these port houses are private, while others are open to public tours and visits. Port has been used in the past as a healing agent in earlier remedies. He began at the age of 14 with a bottle a day according to J. A recurring theme in the novels of Anthony Trollope is the partiality of respectable elderly ladies for port, which they excuse on the grounds that it is "medicinal". See words that rhyme with port.

Translation of port for Spanish Speakers. Translation of port for Arabic Speakers. Encyclopedia article about port. What made you want to look up port? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

How a folk song became a term of derision. The participle made famous by Elvis. And is one way more correct than the others? The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. Test your visual vocabulary with our question challenge! First Known Use of port Noun 1 before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1 Noun 2 before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1 Noun 3 14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1 Verb 1 , in the meaning defined above Noun 4 circa , in the meaning defined above Adjective , in the meaning defined above Noun 5 circa , in the meaning defined above Verb 2 , in the meaning defined above.

Learn More about port. Resources for port Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared. Dictionary Entries near port porringer porritch Porro prism port Port portabella portability.