Drinking Port: WLD 102


We Like Drinking

Episode 102 Show Notes

Thank you for joining us for the We Like Drinking podcast, episode 102. In this episode we’re hitting the hard stuff and pouring ourselves some port. So crack open your beer, uncork that wine, and let’s get drinking.

  • Welcome to the show drinkers and thank you for joining us for episode 102. This week it’s our monthly drinking themed episode where we go deep on a specific wine or beer style. It’s been awhile since we experienced the joy of Oktoberfest, episode 93 to be exact. But now it’s time to indulge in this most excellent fortified wine style and see what could possibly go wrong.
Drinking Ports:

Panel Introductions

  • A finalist in the 2013 Wine Blog Awards, a certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Ambassador, and the founder of the stay rad wine blog, …. Jeff is drinking Dow’s 2011 LBV Porto ($20, 19.5%)
  • He’s a member of the American Homebrewers Association and the head brewer at Angry Goats Brewery,…John Ruyak. John is drinking
  • My name is Jeff Eckles, I’m a certified specialist of wine and your host for these festivities, and  Jeff is drinking


Some History –
  • Critical for shipping wine in a time when refridgeration was not available.
  • Adding “brandy” raised the alcohol content to a point that yeast and bacteria could no longer survive. Known as “mutage”
  • Depending on when you fortify the wine determines if it will be sweet or dry.
  • Fortification typically done when the sugar level in the fermenting wine drops to 8-12%.
Geek Stuff –
  • Comes from Portugal along with Madeira, specifically all the grapes come from the Douro valley
  • Douro Valley was one of the first wine regions in the world, being defined in 1756.
  • Primary grapes used to make Port are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz(Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cao. (allowed grapes for port number upwards of 60)
  • 3 sub-regions in the Douro (Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo (where almost half the port land resides and it’s considered the best sub-region for producing port), and the Duoro Superior, largest region by size that prduces most of the unfortified wine of the region.
  • When ports were first becoming a big thing in the world, the wines would be produced and stored in the wineries themselves. When ready to ship they would be floated down to port to be shipped.
  • In the 1800’s lodges started showing up in the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. These lodges were used to store the ports for aging purposes until they were ready to ship. The humidity and cooler temps made for a better environment for this.
  • These lodges are owned by mostly British companies which is why most of the names you know of in port aren’t Portuguese.
  • Starting to see more quintas take over control of their own wines and handling everything back in the Duoro.

Tons of styles of ports, but you can break it all down to 2 types of port. Wood aged and bottle aged.

Ports –
  • Ruby – Aged 2 years in casks for 2 years before bottle and shipped. Most common, least complex.
  • Reserve – Blend of ruby ports usually aged 4-6 years before bottling.
  • LBV – single vintage, aged 4-6 years in oak. Filtered, bottled, shipped. Less expensive alternative to vintage port.
  • Tawny – port aged for extensive time before bottling, at least 6 years. Those with years like 10, 20, 30 average age.
  • Vintage – Declared by producers, usually only 3 years out of 10. Spends 2 years in cask, then bottled and cellarered for long periods of time (decades).
  • Colheita – Single vintage, aged in barrel at least 7 years.
  • Other styles, crusted, white, rose, Garrafeira

Last Call

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OK panel.. Let’s take one last trip around the table and get some final thoughts before we shut off the lights…

Thanks again for joining us at the We Like Drinking Podcast….where you’ll never drink alone.