When in Porto – Port Wine
Spending time in Porto would not be the same without visiting at least one Port Wine Lodge, if not more. Being a lover of all things “dessert”, I’m sure it’s no surprise that of all wines, Port Wine is one of my favorites. Originating from the Douro Region in Portugal, and more specifically aged and bottled in the town of Oporto, Port Wine is a fortified, sweet red wine. It is commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine.
Prior to departing for Portugal, the only Port I was familiar with was Grahams. Incidentally, even after experimenting and tasting my way through Portugal, Grahams still remains one of my favorites.
That said, it was a fun and unique experience getting to learn about and sample different Ports. The more I learned about making this delicious dessert wine, the more complex I realized the whole process was. I also discovered that there were so many different kinds of ports, from White, Tawny, Ruby, and Vintage.
We had an opportunity to tour one of Porto’s best Port Wine Lodges, called Cockburn’s (but pronounced ‘Co-burns’). The whole tour took us deep into the cellars, past massive barrels, and endless rows of beautifully bottled Port Wine.
Along the way, our guide taught us so much about the whole process, explained the differences in detail, and also had us watch a great informational video about the history of this particular Port Wine.
Yes, I’m sure I could pull out all of my notes, or do a Google search to help explain all of the complexities and information we learned that day. Trust me, I have a long way to go before I truly understand or could even attempt to describe it all to anyone. So instead, I will just share some additional photos of our evening at this lovely Port Wine Lodge!
Above, this photo is from the Port Wine tasting we enjoyed after our tour.
If you enjoy wine or desserts at all, I encourage you to take a tour – either guided or by yourself. It’s a delightful experience, and one you can only get in Porto! Hope you have enjoyed our little tour!
Just a few practical tips:
- To get the most out of your Porto Wine Experience, hire a guide or have your travel agent arrange a tour.
- Most lodges are located in Gaia, which is on the other side of the bridge from the Old Town Center.
- Make sure to plan ahead, because tasting schedules are quite limited.
- Port Wine contains a lot of sugar, and is stronger than wine. Make sure to eat well and be hydrated prior to your Wine Tasting Experience. You will certainly feel the effects sooner than you normally would.
- If you have the option to pair your wines with cheese or chocolate, say yes!
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