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Knowing How to Serve Port Wine



Serving a Port Wine in a decanter contains in itself a ritual full of history and tradition, where the ceremony helps to reinforce the pleasure involving these civilized and sophisticated wines. All Port Wines can be served in a decanter, but only Vintage Port , Late Bottled Vintage and Crusted need to be decanted, for being bottled without being filtered.
Present Port Wine in a beautiful decanter, adding the beauty of its color to the aromas that are released, and enjoy the rare moments of pleasure with the Port Wine tasting. For recent wines, let them rest in a decanter for 2-4 hours before drinking them so that the wine reaches its full potential. If it is a very old Vintage or LBV, place it in the decanter just before serving, so it doesn’t lose any of its fragile aromas on contact with air.


Tradition has it that at serving time, the decanter should be placed on the table to the right of the host, who serves the first guest seated to his right. Then, he serves himself and passes the decanter to the guest at his left and so on in a clockwise direction until it returns to its starting point.
There are several explanations for this tradition, some of which are dated back to the ancient Celts, the people who inhabited the north of Portugal and who believed that turning right would bring bad luck. Another explanation states that the custom arose from the need to keep the sword arm free in case problems arise. Another adds that the British officers in warships swirled the wine from the left, the side of the harbor. But the simplest point to the fact that people are right-handed and therefore, being more practical to pass the decanter from the left. Most importantly, however, is to ensure that all your guests enjoy a glass of Port Wine.


The Port Wine is one of the best wines in the world and it gains a lot if enjoyed in the proper glass so that its color, aromas and flavors can be appreciated. It should be used in a medium size stem and tulip-shaped glass, so it can be gently agitated to release the aromas, showing all its qualities. Hold the glass by the stem, so that your hand does not obstruct the vision or heat the content.
Since December 2001 there is the official chalice of Port Wine, designed by Álvaro de Siza Vieira, which allows you to enjoy the most of your moments of pleasure, enhancing its appearance and its aromas and flavors.


The Port Wine, which is distinguished by its enormous diversity and surprises us for the richness and intensity of aroma, has high alcohol content (19-22% vol.), and should therefore be tasted at appropriate temperatures, which enhance its fruits and scents. You should avoid drinking it hot where the perception of alcohol (which is already high) rises even further, becoming too volatile and difficult to savor.
– White (served fresh): 6 to 7 ºC
– White: 8 a 12 ºC
– Ruby: 12 a 14 ºC
– Tawny: 14 ºC
– Harvest or Tawny 10, 20, 30, 40: 16 ºC
– Vintage or aged LBV: 16 ºC
– Vintage or young LBV: 18 ºC


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