Ports are very flexible wines and white Port is a great example of that. White Port can be drunk on its own, ideally chilled, between 8-10˚C) or as a delicious and refreshing Port & Tonic (1/3rd White Port, 2/3rds tonic water, lime / lemon, mint and lots of ice). You can also use other mixers: passion fruit, lime or pineapple. A grapefruit garnish goes well with more aromatic White Ports. Salty peanuts or roasted almonds are great pairings. But don’t forget – the best way to drink a wine is however you enjoy it most!
It's very much a matter of personal taste, some prefer the standard White Port (at the sweeter end of the taste spectrum), while others prefer the Dry White Port (or even the extra dry white). Both styles are delicious aperitifs and make for one of the most refreshing summer long drinks that you can enjoy, served with tonic water, poured over cubes of ice and garnished with a slice of lemon or lime and a sprig of mint leaf. As the tonic water has quite a sharp taste, some argue that the sweeter white port acts as a counter to this, bringing a more balanced taste to the drink which can (for some) be a tad on the bitter side. Ideally, experiment with both and decide for yourself which style you think is most appropriate.
Port is a very versatile wine and may be a great pairing for starters and many desserts and even, some main courses. It is a very rich, concentrated and intense wine, so we should pair it with foods where one will not overpower the other. The family of Ruby ports (Reserve, Late Bottled Vintage, Vintage and Crusted ports) are particularly good with foods which favour contrasts (blue and semi-cured cheeses, dark chocolate, some spicy dishes). Tawnies, on the other hand, are perfect matches for sweet desserts, such as apple crumble and apple pie, fruit cake, vanilla ice cream, as well as egg-based desserts like crème brûlée and 'pastel de nata' - Portuguese custard cakes, etc. They can also be great combinations with salty dishes and antipasti like oysters, hard cheeses, patés, or cured meats. Due to their amazing freshness and acidity, white ports pair wonderfully with fresh starters (ceviche, salads, petiscos) as well as olives and salted roasted almonds.
For this New Year, we recommend a 20 Year Old Tawny Port. It's a sweet, delightful wine (like 2020 wasn't!) and the result of the perfect balance between the ageing notes from its time inside the barrel (let it represent the wisdom of the elderly) and the freshness of its youth (being the energy and hope from the younger) - everything that we need for 2021! Oh, and apart from that, it pairs beautifully with raisins for the New Year countdown!
Port is a very versatile wine which - sure thing! - can be used for cooking. We would say the 'best' type of port depends both on your personal taste and what you're cooking specifically. Ruby port can be used for stewed or roasted red meat; Tawnies suit deliciously with fried meat on caramelised nuts & noodles; White port can be amazing for cooking: try making a reduction with it adding some white wine, a bit of lemon juice, herbs and garlic - it'll be a fantastic topping on fresh fish!
Yes, many different kinds of cheese make excellent pairings with port. Blue cheeses are undoubtedly a great (classic!) match, particularly with Vintage Port (also Quinta Vintage Ports and Crusted Ports). Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, etc are fantastic accompaniments to Vintage Port. These rich, well structured ports balance well with the strong taste profile of these cheeses. The wine and cheese complement and bring out the best in each other. Highly recommended! Other milder cheeses, such as Cheddar, Manchego and cream cheeses like Brie, Camembert, etc make very good pairings with Tawny ports (10 and 20 Year Old Tawnies are perfect).
First of all we'd like to stress that individual tastes and food pairing are obviously very personal. Certain combinations work for some people and don't work for others. Still, here's our suggestion - a port sauce reduction with a Ruby style port: In a pot, put Ruby style port and red wine together (50/50) adding 4 or 5 garlic cloves, some rosemary and/or thyme. Let it boil until you have about 1/3 of the original liquid volume left. Don't forget to filter the reduction before using i. This can be served with a pan fried (in this case do not use any oil – start cooking the breast from the fatty side) or grilled duck breast and some roasted veggies / potatoes. Pair it with LBV or a young Vintage Port.