Port wine from the scenic vineyards in the Douro region of Portugal is made by adding grape spirit to the fermenting juice, creating an alcoholic sweet wine also known as fortified wine. Port wine is known for its robust consistency, which is achieved through the lengthy and traditional method of foot treading, which extracts colour and tannins. Although several automated machines today mimic the action of treading feet and have replaced the labour-intensive, hours-long process of people treading grapes in massive granite lagares, some high-end producers still choose to use the old-fashioned approach for producing some of their finest wines.

Port wine is mostly served post-dinner and is one of the favourite treats enjoyed with cheeses. I wanted to go a little beyond and have matched six styles of Port wine to delight your palate as well as your guests!

Six styles of port paired deliciously

White Port, pale gold colour, with pronounced intensity aromas on the nose of cooked peaches, almonds, and vanilla. Sweet Soft and crispy on the palate, well-balanced refreshing flavours of sweet white grapes, elderflower, orange marmalade, peaches, almond, and honey. It is best served well chilled at the end of the meal with a slice of marmalade and almond tart. Having a flavour combination of marmalade and almond, and the baked crust tart, which balances with the rich sweetness of the wine,.

Ruby Port, deep red ruby colour, with youthful aromas on the nose of red fruits, black fruit, and cherry. On the palate, it is sweet and jammy, full-bodied with berries, red fruits, vanilla, cream, and leather flavours. Pleasant long finish with a fruity character. It is best served slightly chilled at the end of a meal, paired with a spectacular berry pie, combining the fruitiness of wine with the baked berries and butter pie crust.

Reserve Ruby Port, deep ruby colour with rich, fragrant aromas on the nose of black fruits, brioche, cream, forest floor, and earthy tones. Lucious and pronounced flavours of black fruit and cassis, smooth and creamy on the palate with hints of spice, powerful finish. It is best served slightly chilled after a meal, paired with a flavorful spice cake topped with cream cheese, combining the spiced flavours and cream with the luscious flavours of the wine.

Late Bottle Vintage, LBV, 2017, deep ruby colour and purple rim, with lovely fruit aromas on the nose, plum, black cheery. Well-structured on the palate, with ample fruit and cream, signs of oak ageing, vanilla, earth, and leather notes, and a long finish. Best served slightly chilled, it is ideal matched at the end of a meal with a rich chocolate and berry cake. The mixed berry filling complements the fruity aromas, while the bitter nature of chocolate creates a delicious combination.

10 year old Tawny Port, deep tawny brownish colour, complex intensity on the nose, rose petals, orange flower, dried fruit, cream, toffee, and ample earthy notes. Soft and rich sweetness with delicious flavour characteristics that developed with the wine aged in oak and exposure to oxygen. Caramel, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, nutty aromas, and toffee. Long and rich finish. It is best served slightly chilled at the end of a meal accompanied with a warm apple pie with raisins and cinnamon. The cooked sweet pastry, spiced apple and raisins filling match perfectly with the flavours of the aged wine.

Vintage Port, 2000, garnet colour with a purple rim, fresh and pungent on the nose, with notes of almonds, figs, and dried fruit. Great concentration on the palate and good acidity, with very fine rustic flavours of delicate black fruits, spice, prunes, walnuts, dates, and chocolate, a long and juicy finish. It is best served slightly chilled at the end of a meal, paired with a warm and crunchy pecan pie. matching perfectly with the rustic flavours and characteristics of the vintage wine.

Creating interesting and versatile pairings is a pleasant experience that is enhanced when enjoyed with a glass of fine wine.