Wine Word of the Week: Port



By Kori ~ November 6th, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is port.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Port, a fortified wine made by adding brandy to arrest fermenting grape must which results in a wine, red and sometimes white, that is both sweet and high in alcohol. Port derives its name from Oporto (Porto), the second largest city in Portugal, whence the wine has been shipped for over 300 years, notably by English merchants. ….

Fortified wines are made in the image of port in places as far apart as South Africa, Australia, and California but, within the European Union, EU law restricts the use of the term port to wines from a closely defined area in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal (one of the first examples of geographical delimitation).

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Port is a sweet fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal, made by adding grape spirit to fermenting must while the juice still retains considerable sugar. It is inappropriate to call a port-style wine “port” if it is not from Portugal.


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