Port wine is a very thick, syrupy, dark and sweet dessert wine.
It is lovely.
If you really wanted to get into a snobby, hipster thread…I had no idea, but apparently port is the way to go. I just watched a 7 minute presentation on how to use port tongs to remove the top of the bottle so you don’t need to remove the cork (?), and how to properly decant a bottle of port through a sterling silver funnel (??) laid with a double layer of cheesecloth.
I just….whaa? Apparently I am not in as high of a social order as I think I am, because I generally uncork the port and drink it. From a wine glass I have in my cupboard. Or the dishwasher, depending on how far along I am on doing the dishes.
Okay, so we looked it up and there are actually good reasons for the port tongs. So, port was originally enjoyed because it was “is actually a sweet wine that’s been enriched with grape spirit (essentially un-aged Brandy) added during the wine making process. The spirit kills the yeast and stops the fermentation while there’s still a little sugar left in the grapes, and the result is a sweet fortified wine that’s about 20% alcohol.” vinesleuth.com
But port is best if it is older, and by then the cork can just crumble into the port. So, you take wicked hot tongs and heat the middle of the neck, then take a cold, wet rag and place it on the glass and it breaks evenly and cleanly. Then you filter the particulate through the mesh strainer into a decanter, and now you can actually drink the port.
Port also: “Port is commonly served after meals as a dessert wine in English-speaking countries, often with cheese; white and tawny ports are often served as an apéritif. In Europe all types of port are frequently drunk as aperitifs.
I’m not kidding, Ben threw the word “aperitifs” at me the other day, and I looked at him like he had tentacles growing out of his ears. I have no idea what an aperitifs is. Dictionary.com to the rescue….it’s a little thing you eat before hors d’oeuvres. Like nuts in a bowl. That’s an aperitifs. So, port is also an aperitif. “from French apéritif, from medieval Latin aperitivus, based on Latin aperire ‘to open.’” So there ya go.
Man, port culture is ridiculous. But port, without the culture, is AWESOME.
I’m going to go enjoy a glass of port right now, wearing jeans and my rocking lace-up Ugg boots. Take that, snooty port culture!