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Tasting notes, wine and regional profiles, wine book reviews, and breaking news in the Iberian wine industry allows your next wine purchase to be an informed one.

Wanted: Vintage Port Wine

Flavor Profile Unlike entry-level port wines, vintage port wines cannot be summed up in a few adjectives. These are wines that can drank anywhere from a few months to over a century in bottle. Over a century! What else can you possibly consume that has not been sealed in an […]

Wanted: Tawny Port

Background
Tawny port wine is made from red grapes aged in wood, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation, for longer than a ruby port wine. As a result, the wine loses its brilliant ruby color, becoming a dark amber or a tawny hue with a characteristic “nutty” flavor imparted by the wood. Finally, through a system of fractional blending with various older port wines to match the house style, the resulting tawny wine is elegant and soft, showing delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit.

Although there are several various kinds of tawny port wine, the two main types are: a young tawny that lacks any indication of age, and an older tawny labeled with a specific age.

Basic NV Tawny Port

Although the term “tawny’ refers to a wine that has been aged in wood for longer than ruby port wine, the majority of young tawnies are made from a blend of both red and white grapes, aged for approximately the same time as a ruby port wine. Come summer, several bulk tawnies are shipped up river to the Douro valley in cement baloes where they literally stew from the ambient heat, referred to as the Douro Bake. The Douro Bake is a traditional expression used to explain a particular characteristic imparted to Port when aged in a hot, arid climate, as opposed to the milder, cooler temperatures in Vila Nova de Gaia. Consequently, the resulting wines mature rapidly, losing their bright red color, and display a slightly brown tinge around the rim. On the palate, although lacking in the powerful fruit characteristics normally associated with a young ruby port wine, tawnies tend to be softer, more subtle, and many times, slightly more approachable.

Wanted: Ruby Port Wine

As we have done with both Sherry and Portuguese table wine, our goal is to provide you with a solid understanding as to what Port wine is throughout the month of November. Over the next two weeks, we will be providing you port wine profiles of each style with the […]

Top Five Mistakes in Serving Sherry

If you’re the average wine drinker, what do you do when you receive a bottle you’re unfamiliar with? I would imagine that if you’re reading Catavino right now, you most likely peruse the Internet to get the most current and accurate information possible, but I fear you’re in the minority. […]

The Fear of Sherry

Fears take on many forms. They can come from negative experiences we’ve had in the past, or they can simply come from the unknown, an unfamiliar experience. Several years ago, my fear of the unknown was severely challenged one late Saturday evening while waiting tables in an upscale sushi restaurant. […]