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Guide Wines of the World - A Connoisseurs Guide

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Wine Ratings Explained

Go here to enter. The various rating scales help separate wines of lesser quality, and offer helpful tips to a shopper when they are making their decision on what to purchase. With this in mind, you as a consumer can taste and compare your personal notes with these reviews and see which critique you agree with most. Our staff can also work with you and help select wines that are more suitable for your palate and personal preference. Just give us a call WINE Wine Critics and Publications. While Vintage Port is made from grapes from a single vintage, Crusted Port is usually a combination of several vintage years.

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The wine usually spends up to 4 years in aging in barrel before being bottled, and may spend another 3 or more years in bottle before being released. It can improve with bottle aging, and some people will keep a bottle of Crusted Port for 10 or 20 years before drinking it.

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Tip: the year on the bottle refers to the year of bottling rather than the harvest. Naturally, given the crust, this wine needs to be filtered so make sure you have a decanter before opening the bottle. Vintage Port is considered to be the best type of Port that you can buy. The grapes usually come from different vineyards, but they always come from the same year. Although only some years are good enough for vintage Port, some years are better than others.


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  • Vintage Port is aged in barrels for around years before bottling. Strict laws prevent Vintage Port from being barrel-aged for any longer.

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    Vintage Port is always unfiltered, and can continue to mature for another 20 years or even longer once bottled. While Ruby Port is aged in tanks and maybe in bottle as well, Tawny Port is aged in barrels. It is much lighter than most Ruby Ports, especially Vintage Ports. In comparison to Ruby-style Ports, which normally have fruit flavours, this is a very different flavour profile.


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    • Like Ruby Port, there are varying qualities of Tawny Port: there are basic Tawny Ports that are just a few years old and Tawnies that are aged for more than 40 years. Tawny Ports that have a year e. The age is also normally a very loose calculation rather than an average, and is more based on taste than anything mathematical. Tawny is often served chilled, and sometimes over ice. This includes both basic Tawny Ports and even aged Tawny Ports. There is no need to decant Tawny Port, and this also means that a Tawny Port can be left open for a lot longer a month or more.

      It is aged in barrel for a minimum of 7 years, but many will spend a lot a longer in wood than that.

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      The bigger the gap between the two, the more interesting those flavours will be. White Port is typically bottled young, but it is possible to find aged White Ports as well. Port wine is normally served in servings of around 85 ml 3 oz in a Port wine glass, which is narrower than a normal wine glass. Depending on the Port style, it can be served at room temperature or chilled. Some Port, particularly Vintage Port, needs decanting. The plastic topped easy-to-open corks usually signify a Port wine that has already been filtered, while unfiltered Ports will need to be opened with a corkscrew.

      Remember: Port that has been decanted will oxidise quickly, and will need to be drunk within a day or two. Tawny Ports and cheaper Ruby Ports will last longer, and can keep for up to a month at a time. Most Port is designed to be drunk straight away rather than stored. Again, look for the words unfiltered or a cork that needs to be opened with a corkscrew.