When the chill of winter descends, and the festive lights shimmer, it's the season for Christmas joys – and what better to accompany those moments than the rich and indulgent flavors of Port wines? If you've ever wondered which Port wines for Christmas time will add that special touch to your celebration, this guide is for you. Dive deep into the luxurious world of Ports, from the familiar to the newly intriguing.
It's easy to see why Sandeman Founder's Reserve Port has a cult following. It's a medium-bodied, soft and fruity port that can be enjoyed on its own or with dessert, and at $40 per bottle it offers great value for money. The grapes are sourced from the Douro Valley in Portugal, where they are grown in such rich soil that it takes ten years for them to reach maturity before being harvested and fermented into wine.
For those just starting out with this fortified red wine (which also comes in a white variety), Sandeman's Founder is an excellent choice—and there are countless other sub-$50 options that will suit your palate just as well!
This port wine is the most expensive on our list, but it's also one of the most prestigious. It has an incredibly deep flavour profile that boasts notes of chocolate and coffee. This rich flavour comes from aging in oak barrels for 20 years before bottling. With such a long aging process, this vintage port is well-suited to be paired with rich meats like steak or duck; however, it can also stand up to lighter dishes like goat cheese or mushrooms.
For best results when drinking this rich port wine, use a large Bordeaux glass so that you can fully experience its complex flavours.
If you're a fan of port wines, this is the one to try. Made from six grapes (Sousão, Touriga Nacional and Douro Tinto for red varieties; Rabigato, Arinto and Roupeiro for white), it's aged in oak barrels for three years before being bottled. The result is a medium-bodied wine with a smooth texture and a rich, deep colour that's perfect if you prefer sweet wines over dry ones.
Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve has a sweet fruity flavour which complements Christmas dinners perfectly. It can be served as an apéritif or enjoyed with dessert, but I like it best when paired with cheese at the end of my meal – especially soft cheeses such as brie or Camembert.
The Penfolds Vintage Tawny 10 Year Old is an affordable option that won't break the bank. With a medium body and light to medium sweetness, it has flavours of black fruit and chocolate. It's aged in American oak casks for ten years before bottling, which gives it a unique flavour profile as well as a consistent taste from year to year.
If you’re looking for a port wine that will help take your holiday celebrations to the next level, look no further than Taylor’s 30-year-old Tawny. Not only will this tawny port wine add a deep and complex flavour profile to your holiday drink menu. If you want to impress your guests with some serious sipping power, this is the one for you.
Warre’s Warrior Porto is a great choice for those who are looking for a good quality port wine at an affordable price. It’s not only cost-effective, but it also has been winning several awards in competitions all over the world. This is because Warre’s Warrior Porto is a blend of port wines from different vineyards, giving it complexity and character.
If you want to try a port that’s not too sweet, Warre’s 1999 Late Bottled Vintage is a good choice. A blend of 10 different ports aged in oak casks for 30 years, this wine has flavours of raisin, caramel, and dried fruit. It pairs well with chocolate desserts—and it can be served chilled or at room temperature.
Niepoort is a small family owned port house in Portugal. The Niepoorts have been producing high quality wine since 1622 when they were granted land by the King of Portugal to make their own wines on the banks of the Douro River.
Their Colheita 2002 is a tawny port wine made with grapes grown in the Douro Valley and aged for 12 years in oak barrels. This wine has medium body with notes of dried fruits and nuts, but it also shows off some really interesting complexity with its hints of smoke, leather, and earthy flavours. It's one of those wines that would pair well with almost any dessert — even if you don't usually like sweet foods!
The Blend by Graham’s Port is a medium-bodied wine that is made up of three different vintages and has aromas of dried fruit and spice. This port is great for drinking with desserts or after dinner.
If you've ever wondered what the best port wine is, ask a port expert. They'll tell you that Taylors The Tawny Three Decades Fine Old Tawny NV is one of the top ten ports in all of Portugal. This tawny combines the best wines from three decades, resulting in a complex and balanced wine with notes of dried fruits and cocoa powder. It's also very affordable at around $20 per bottle—a steal for such high-quality wine!
For dessert or cocktails, port wine adds a special touch to the festive season
Port wines are a great addition to many holiday dinners, serving as an alternative to wine or champagne. They’re also a welcome addition to cocktails, but you don't have to limit your port-wine enjoyment to these occasions. Port is delicious on its own and can pair well with cheese plates as well.
From sumptuous feasts to cozy gatherings, the warmth of Port wines holds the power to transform moments into cherished memories. As the holiday season beckons, incorporating the best wines for Christmas can elevate your festivities. Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or exploring Ports for the first time, the range and depth of flavors in this selection promises something for every palate. So, as you toast to joy, love, and togetherness, let the resonant notes of these exceptional Port wines fill your glass and heart. Cheers to a merry and wine-filled Christmas!
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