The dirty dozen, a list of items to enhance the knowledge of those looking for something to read while consuming their Port wine. The "facts" included here are quick quips that may include a few light-hearted points about Port; but are not-to-be-taken-too-seriously.
1. Simply put, Port is fermented then fortified grape juice, which always tastes better when this dessert wine comes from Portugal.
2. Shockingly, the grapes used for Port production grow on grapevines usually planted on very steep slopes in schistous soil that appears more like a rock quarry than a vineyard.
3. Well-aged Port is able to conjure up memories of a thousand flavors you've had before; but I've yet to find one that tastes like pepperoni pizza.
4. Port grapevines grow best in hot and dry conditions, the best of which are cultivated in the Douro Valley. Duriense farmers grow grapes more than any other crop and tend to their vineyards year round. Additionally, they really like to dance on the grapes barefoot, at night, preferably accompanied by accordion music after a full day of hard work picking grapes during harvest.
5. There are more categories of Port than any Master of Wine could ever memorize, making FTLOP.com a great resource for consumers and those in the wine trade to make some sense of Port wine. Come join us and learn about each one of these Port categories. I can assure you that the website and Forum are quite a bit more serious than this particular blog post.
6. Port can be any color from white to pink to red to purplish black and can evoke nearly any aroma ... even that of freshly crushed grapes.
7. There are approximately 80 different grape varieties approved for use in Port production. Of course, nobody can name or identify most of them; but they all must be approved by the IVDP, so rest assured they really do exist.
8. Port and food pairings may often enhance one another. But avoid pairing Port with onions, especially in the confines of a tuna fish sandwich. Sushi on the other hand must be tried as a pairing with Port at least once!
9. Ports will typically improve by aging in a variety of vessels for divergent time frames, (some examples: cement tanks, demijohns, stainless steel vats, hogsheads, pipes, toneis, balseiros and even bottles). Note that corks are only used to seal bottles for aging and to provide mementos for Port collector geeks like me.
10. Serious Port enthusiasts and those just curious to learn more; participate in For The Love of Port's Forum in order to discuss everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-Port-but-were-afraid-to-ask. The answers are always worth waiting for and will ensure that loads of your money will be well spent on worthy bottles of Port.
11. Port wine is healthier than Coca Cola, nuclear power, Ebola or assault rifles and is a natural product that can be enjoyed by those of a legal drinking age; in moderation of course.
12. Drinking Port wine is a sensorial experience; best shared with friends and/or lovers, but can even be enjoyed if consumed alone in the dark without a glass.