How To Store Port Wine To Preserve Taste In A Helpful Way

How To Store Port Wine To Preserve Taste In A Helpful Way?

First, how to store port wine?

The Port Wine should be stored in a cold and dark place at a constant temperature (optimal at 14 º C) and a humidity of 65% to 75%, so that the corks do not dry out and lose its elasticity. To moisten the corks, the bottles should be placed so that they are lying flat.

Detailed instructions on how to store port wine are provided further down.

How To Store Unopened Port Wine?

Although using a dedicated wine fridge is the best way to store your unopened ports, some of us have yet to make the purchase. When storing ports, there are three things that you should always provide.

  1. A cool temperature (Ideally between 50°-55°F)  is the most important element to give to your ports. As long as the temperature is within this range, the wine can mature and continue to develop its secondary bouquet without becoming overly chilly. Your wine might quickly pass its peak and begin to decline if the temperature is higher. The port will age gracefully, as intended, at a cooler temperature, such as 50°F.
  2. Darkness is a key component to keeping ports. The chemicals and molecules that make up the wine are broken down by excessive exposure to light and UV rays, which leads to an imbalance.
  3. Little to no vibration is ideal for storing port, as this protects the acidic structures of the wine. Because of this, bottles shouldn’t ever be stored in refrigerator doors. As the door is opened more frequently, the bottle’s kinetic energy increases and the esters are reduced, dulling the flavor. Without a doubt, that is not what we want.

Don’t worry too much if your storage area isn’t exactly at the ideal 70% humidity level, even though humidity is important as well. It works just fine with humidity levels between 50% and 80%.

The corks risk drying out if it gets any dryer, which will ruin the wine. A very unpleasant mold could start to develop in the cork if there is any additional humidity.

Keeping your ports in top condition also depends on the orientation of the bottles. Always store bottles lying down, label facing up.

The cork must come into contact with the liquid in order for it to prevent drying out. Additionally, this will enable all of the sediment to find a place to rest on the bottle’s side as it kindly accumulates over time.

It is simple to identify your bottles without having to turn and twist them if the label is facing up. Additionally, the labels ensure that the sediment will rest on one side of the bottom rather than being stirred back into the wine when you turn the container over.

A bottle of port that has been aged for at least four years should always be served without being turned upright. The gathered sediment will contaminate the wine if it is turned upright. Use of a wine decanting basket is an excellent method for serving at an angle.

The bottle slides into the aforementioned basket without difficulty, making it simple to open and serve without spilling a single priceless drop. The fact that a decanting basket is a lovely way to display your port is a major benefit of using one. Another justification for storing your ports with the label facing up is this. A crucial factor is the presentation.

This article on storing red wine will be extremely helpful to you if you enjoy it as much as I do. If you find value in it, kindly check it out and spread the word to your friends.

How To Store Opened Port Wine?

A port wine bottle has been cracked open, exposing it to the air and starting the oxidation process. Due to this, even after you replace the stopper or cork, its lifespan will have decreased.

You can still store it in your basement or cellar if it is cold enough (below 10°C/50°F). A refrigerator, on the other hand, will be more useful and its lower temperature will aid in slowing the oxidation process.

Because the bottle’s seal has been broken, it is now preferable to keep the opened bottle of port upright as opposed to on its side. Simply keep it in the fridge and remove it before drinking more to bring it back to the ideal serving temperature.

Consider finishing your port by the deadline specified in the section below that concludes this guide.

How To Serve Port Wine For Best Flavor?

Port is the only wine that is truly best served at room temperature, or a serving temperature of 67 to 68 degrees. This means that after being kept at 60 degrees, the bottle needs to warm up, so you should remove it from your wine refrigerator about 30 to an hour before serving. Like many white wines, white port can be served slightly chilled; pouring it right away after removing it from your wine refrigerator is acceptable.

While bottle-aged Port wines should be decanted before serving, wood-aged Port varieties can be served straight from the bottle. Keep the painted side of the bottle facing up in your hand as you remove it from the rack and uncork it to accomplish this. While still keeping the painted side up, pour the wine into a clean decanter. Stop pouring when you reach the dregs. Since port wine has a high alcohol content, it is ideal to use small glasses made for sipping, the wine in the decanter should be clear and ready to pour when you are ready to serve it.

What Is Port Wine?

Port wine is a type of red wine that originated in Portugal. Although some Ports are produced in a dry or semi-dry style, most are known for being sweet. This delicious wine is also produced from white grapes.

Only one region in the entire world has the legal right to produce what is known as “Port Wine,” and that is the Douro Valley. This region is considered to be the oldest wine-producing region in history with a history of over 2,000 years of winemaking.

There are more than 100 grape varieties used to make port, but the five most popular ones are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tempranillo, Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. Unlike traditional red wines, the fermentation process is stopped by adding a neutral grape spirit or unaged brandy to increase the alcohol content. 

The port is then transferred to oak barrels to age. Differentiating between various port types is accomplished through this step. Many port wines can be kept for years in storage to reach their full potential because they age well.

Port Wine Types

Port wine is produced in a variety of hues and flavors because the term “Port wine” refers to the method of fortification rather than the type of grapes used to make it. Knowing a little bit about each will help you choose which ones are to your taste, and it will also guide you on how to store port wine after it has been opened.

Wood-aged Ports

Before being bottled, wood-aged Port wine, also referred to as “wood Port,” is aged in wooden vats or casks. There are three main types available:

  • Ruby Ports: These rich, fruity red wines have a deep color. They are “young” wines, which means that only a brief period of time was spent in their wood casks before they were bottled.
  • Tawny Ports: These wines are much more “mature” because they age for many years in oak barrels before being bottled. They age to a light golden brown color and take on complex flavors of caramel and nuts. Originally they were red.
  • White Ports: White grapes are used to make these wines instead of red or purple ones, but the fortification and aging procedures are the same as for dark Ports. They come in both sweet and drier varieties and are typically aged in casks for two to three years.

Bottle-aged Ports

As the name implies, bottle-aged Port wine ages in the bottle rather than in wooden vats at the winery. There are two major categories:

  • Vintage Ports: Only a few years are spent aging these wines in wooden casks before they are finished in bottles. They are some of the world’s longest-lasting wines because they are made to age for many years.
  • Crusted Ports: These less popular wines are made to develop a full, aged flavor more quickly than Vintage Port. The name is derived from the crust of sediment that forms on the bottom of the bottle as the wine ages.
How To Store Port Wine To Preserve Taste In A Helpful Way
How To Store Port Wine To Preserve Taste In A Helpful Way?

Do Port Wines Ever Go Bad?

Once a port has been opened, various port types can last for varying lengths of time. For instance, a barrel-aged tawny port has already experienced micro-oxidization, making it more resistant to additional exposure.

However, after being kept in inert tanks, a ruby port is immediately bottled. As a result, oxygen affects it much more. Vintage ports, on the other hand, are incredibly delicate after having possibly spent decades maturing in the bottle.

Port can keep for the following amounts of time in a refrigerator after being opened, depending on its type:

  • Ruby & Tawny Port: 3 Weeks
  • White & Rose Port 2 Weeks
  • Aged Tawny Port: 2 Months
  • Old Vintage Port: 24 Hours
  • Port that was recently bottled: 1 Week

The opened port will keep longer than regular table wine because it contains more alcohol. But over time, its flavors will deteriorate. So, think about finishing it during the times mentioned above.

Port Ages In Bottles, Or Not?

Port wine usually has a fairly long shelf life because the addition of alcohol stops the fermentation process. In fact, a properly sealed port bottle can keep its flavor for much longer than most wines.

The majority of ruby and tawny ports, however, are only bottled and made available when the producer deems them to be drinkable. Despite the fact that their flavors may alter with age, they aren’t necessarily meant to be aged.

Vintage port is an exception, as it is typically packaged with its sediment and unfiltered from it. Before being sold to the public, these are frequently aged in bottles for years by the producer. It’s not unusual for collectors to continue aging it themselves after that.

Keep in mind that vintage port needs to be separated from its sediment. Therefore, it must be consumed within a few days of opening.

Port Wine Pairing Suggestions 

Ruby Port pairs beautifully with dark chocolate, berry pies, and hard cheeses, or try making a reduction out of it to drizzle over your next steak. Heavenly.

Younger Tawny Port goes well with creamy desserts, figs, and of course, its soulmate…Sheep’s milk is used to make Serra da Estrela cheese.

Aged Tawny Port pairs with foods that are similar to the characteristics found in the port itself, such as roasted almonds, apple pie, and caramel or chocolate truffles.

White and Pink Port are brilliantly paired with fresh red fruits and canapes such as smoked salmon or thinly sliced beef carpaccio. Consider desserts like strawberry shortcakes that feature fresh fruit.

Vintage Port under 30yrs goes wonderfully with crème brûlée, or cheeses such as pecorino, manchego, or parmesan.

Vintage Port 30+yrs is a great companion to a good book or engaging conversation. Most importantly, take a moment to admire the authentic portrayal of a legendary vintage in a glass. Cheers!

Final Words

So how do you store port wine?

Before being opened, the bottle should be kept in a location with minimal temperature fluctuations and an average temperature of no more than 16°C. Additionally, it needs to be shielded from direct sunlight. Be sure to keep the bottle horizontal if it is a Ruby port. If it’s a Tawny port, you can store the bottle upright. Both should be kept away from light and hot temperatures once they are opened. Keep them in the kitchen refrigerator or, if you have one, in the wine refrigerator. Before serving, let the bottle sit outside the fridge for a while.

I appreciate your reading. Have a nice day!

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