Is Port Wine on the Rise?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2013 by

port wine for beginnersIf you want to know a ton about Port and are a beginner when it comes to this legendary fortified wine, check out my interview on Foodista with Roy Hersh of the indispensable website, For The Love of Port. One additional question I had regarded Port’s popularity in relation to red and white wine:

JF: So many regular wine drinkers are comfortable drinking red and white wine on a regular basis but rarely enjoy Port. Why isn’t Port more popular among the wine drinking public and what do you think the best way is to get them to reach for a bottle of Port on a more regular basis?

RH: I don’t agree that those who are regular wine drinkers “rarely enjoy Port”. That is not accurate. I think a better way to state that would be that they don’t often open bottles of Port after a night of drinking white and red wines. Why not? The increase in penalties for drunk driving, world wide has made over-consumption an issue which people are far more conscious of than 20 years ago. That being said, I know plenty of people who collect and drink nothing else but Port, albeit that is a relatively small number in the world of wine. But you’d be surprised how much Port has evolved in the past 20 years. It is starting to gain acceptance in new and younger consumers, slowly but surely. The Port trade has been getting involved in Social Media and finding new ways to reach these consumers and have also paid more attention to non-traditional demographics, for example…women. From what I have seen at large consumer events, once people try Port, more often than not they really like it. So the real challenge is to get a glass or a bottle in front of them and the rest will take care of itself. Finding creative cocktails to blend Port has been another successful way to get new consumers to open a bottle of Port. But the real key is to maintain a high quality at the lower tiers of consumption: Reserve Ruby, LBV and 10 Year Old Tawny Ports as good examples.

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Porto

Excuse me, is this the way back to the hotel?

Seriously, folks, check out For The Love of Port. I find the FAQ section to be a resource I return to time and time again. And, hey, did you know I got to visit Portugal last year? The photo at the top of this post is from the lovely city of Porto. Though the weather was a bit ominous, I will never complain about an unexpected rainbow peeking out from beneath a bridge spanning a famous river. My time in Porto was brief, but I did have other adventures in Portugal involving sparkling wine, 188 kinds of grapes, olive oil, the world’s greatest picnic table, old Port meeting fresh oranges, and hairpin curves. Peruse this roundup of posts for the details.

So what questions do you have about Port? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Or beg Roy for some more help.

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4 Responses

  1. LOVE PORT, and Roy is an amazing resource for it. He’s helped me build a small collection of port that I’m very happy with.

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    • Jameson says:

      Yashar,

      I was reading another interview with Roy and the writer stated something along the lines that Roy’s probably forgotten more about Port than he (the writer) will ever remember. That’s pretty much how I feel. He sure is an invaluable resource.

      Jameson

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  2. I had a Portuguees friend years ago, he sweared be drinking port before a meal instead of after or during. He said Port should be drunk first to prepare for a meal. He brought me a white port – aged 20 years – full of flavour and wonderfully teary in the glass. I use port in my cooking, as they have done in Victorian England. It is great for stewing beef and to accompany it when enjoying the meat. Yes for me Port is very much a drink to have before or during a meal and never after. I’m sure it would also work perfectly with Madeira cake in the afternoon at 4, to give you that little wholesome boost a port always seem to give me. It is smooth and silky and works like a comfortable blanket to me. My friend makes a port-like drink made of walnuts, oh my you should taste that!

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    • Jameson says:

      Regula,

      I appreciate your passion for Port and your tireless work promoting it by drinking it regularly. (Tough job, eh?) I love the idea of Port providing a “wholesome boost”. When I interviewed Rupert Symington about Port, he had the best way to describe it: the unwinding drink. Sounds like you two are kindred spirits when it comes to Port.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, and I’d love to try a drink made from walnuts. That is intriguing!

      Best,

      Jameson

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