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PORT IS NOT A COOKED WINE


Like Natural Sweet Wines Port is a mutated wine


The interest of mutage is to bring the wine roundness and fruit, richness in the nose and mouth but also the power and a real ability to aging. The vinification of Port starts in the same way as for traditional wines but the alcoholic fermentation stops during the addition of brandy. By stopping fermentation, the added alcohol will retain some of the sugars. This is why Port wines are both sweet and rich in alcohol. It is during the alcoholic fermentation that we add to the must from the vintage a volume of wine spirit at 76% alcohol (brandy) in a proportion of 15 to 20%. The timing of the mutage is essential. If alcohol is added too soon the wine will be heavy. If added too late, it will lack roundness and fruit. All Port wines are produced in the same way. What differentiates them next is the mode and the duration of their breeding, as well as of course the style of the producer. The oxidative type Port of the Tawny Family (Tawny, Tawny Reserve, Tawny with indication of age, Colheita) are matured in contact with air and wood. They are assembled according to a traditional know-how and a style specific to each producer. The reductive type Port of the Ruby Family (Ruby, Ruby Reserve, Vintage Late Bottled, Vintage) are high wines with little or no contact with the air. They highlight the fruit and the terroir on which they are produced.


The main methods to obtain a sweet wine


In a dry wine all the sugar of the grapes is transformed into alcohol following the alcoholic fermentation. In a sweet wine only a portion of the sugar is processed and the residual sugar gives the wine its sweet flavor. One of the ways to proceed is to stop the alcoholic fermentation en route, including adding alcohol. This is the technique of mutage. We are talking about mutated or fortified wines. The SNW (Sweet Natural Wines) such as Banyuls, Rivesaltes, Maury, Muscat de Frontignan or Beaume de Venise are mutated wines.The most famous of all the wines transferred is Port. Another way to proceed is to use grapes with such a high sugar content that there is still a residual sugar at the end of the alcoholic fermentation. It's like that late harvests of Bordeaux or Alsace, Jura straw wines or German ice wines. Note that in Germany and Spain (but to our knowledge neither in France nor in Portugal) it also happens that we add grape juice in some wines to give them a sweet taste.


What is cooked wine?


The wine cooks us comes from Antiquity (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans) but it's essentially in the provencal traditionwe find it. It is a rare wine. It is sweet because obtained by concentration of sugars in the must that is heated before the beginning of the alcoholic fermentation . And always from the traditional Provençal grape varieties. In general the original must is halved by heating for several hours over a low, steady fire in a copper cauldron. Heating has the effect of stopping the alcoholic fermentation. To revive the alcoholic fermentation when the desired sugar content is reached, fresh must is added to the concentrated must.Vinification is then done in partially filled barrels to leave the must in contact with the air.Alcoholic fermentation lasts as long as yeast activity is not blocked by alcohol.This fermentation can be very long and sometimes extend over a year. When it is finished, considering the high sugar content of the initial must, there is still a residual sugar in the wine.



The best Port wine


It is probably the best question that we can ask about the Port wines, among others: which is the best brand of Port, which is the best red Port. All these questions lead back to the first one: which is the best Port?


Port, or Port wine, is probably the best wine to ask this question and get an answer, because its variety allows all wine lovers to find their ideal solution, whatever their tastes may be. And why so? It’s simple, we have young Port wines, Ruby wines, which are aged without the wood ageing phase, and matured Port wines, Tawny wines, which are cousins of the latter and which are matured in wood, which gives them a distinct personality.


Of course, Port wines also allow us to appreciate, by that I mean, really enjoy wines from long ago, we often remember Vintage Port wines, some of which are older than 100 years and are in perfect condition, or Tawny Port wines which are 30 or 40 years old and so on, without of course, forgetting wines such as the peerless Porto Valriz, Very Old Tawny which dates back to 1858.


Faced with this choice, it is easy to find answers which are suitable for all tastes and all needs, otherwise it is: An aperitif? We can offer you white Port wines, Lágrima wines, Rosés wines or even even a Port cocktail:


With meals? A Ruby Port, a Vintage Porto which can also be enjoyed at the end of a meal depending on your tastes and wants, with your preferred chocolate, even your favourite cheeses (surprising);


With dessert? If you dare to test slightly cold Tawny port wines and go on a journey to discover unexpected and delicious pairings.


Of course, if your tastes differ; you can find a way to enjoy the wine that you like and refine your choice by trying options that suit your tastes better.


Now comes the truly important question, even more so than finding the best Port, what matters is making sure that in the chosen category, be it Tawny, Ruby, or other, the choice of brand and batch is perfect and, it must be said, it is better to trust a professional who is nearer to the production because only they can guarantee what they promise: The best Port wine is the one which comes directly from the producers

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