The 12 Best Port Wines

Portugal is famous for its wine. We all enjoy a satisfying rosé or a red wine from the Vinho Verde region but it is the sweeter fortified port wine that has to be considered as one of the Mediterranean country’s biggest national treasures.

Having a glass of this classic sipping wine is the perfect way to unwind after a long day at work or as an accompaniment with your dessert or small plates of food such as cheeses and olives.

There are many kinds of this full-bodied, sweet red wine but it can only be considered port if the grapes are grown in Portugal’s Douro Valley region. Some port wines taste fruity and sweet with notes of berries, whilst other bottles have a caramel, and cinnamon taste to them with a hint of chocolate.

With there being so many different varieties and tastes on offer from this Portuguese fortified wine, finding the right port for you can get quite overwhelming but don’t worry; you just have to drink the wine because we have done the research for you.

We have put together a list of the 12 best port wines you can buy, giving you a good selection of high-quality, amazing tasting wines that will go perfectly with your dessert or on a cold winter’s night. So if you’re looking for the perfect bottle of port wine be sure to keep reading.

OUR TOP PICK

Dow’s Vintage Port 2016

The first port on this list is an absolute belter. The Dow’s Vintage Port 2016 is made with the very best matured grapes from the Vinha dos Ecos vineyards.

The purple floral aromas are backed by strong plum, blackberry, chocolate, raisin, and licorice flavors. This evenly balanced bottle epitomizes how powerful a port can be. Best enjoyed in 10 years from now it will take great willpower to wait that long. 

Pros

  • Award-winning - Dow’s Vintage Port 2016 has won a number of awards.
  • Powerful drink - This port is packed with flavor and sweet aromas.
  • Taste - Most importantly this port has phenomenal taste thanks to its richness and fruity finish.

Cons

  • Best from 2030 through to 2055 - If you want to enjoy this port at its best you will have to wait a long time.

EDITORS CHOICE

Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port

Graham’s has earned accolades for its incredible tasting reserve port. Graham’s uses the best of the best grapes to make this reserve port.

In fact, Graham’s uses the best grapes remaining from their vintage bottling to blend into Six Grapes, providing us with an extraordinary bottle at an affordable price. With a rich aroma of cherries, plums, and dark chocolate notes you can’t go wrong with this port.

This big and bold port pairs well with rich desserts like cheesecake or chocolate mousse.

Pros

  • Affordable - This port is unbelievably cheap for what you receive.
  • High quality - The reserve port is made using only the finest grapes.
  • Readily available - Unlike other limited edition ports this wine can be bought easily.

Cons

  • Strong - Some customers have noted that this port is quite strong, sometimes overpowering the fruity flavors with booze.

BEST VALUE

A bottle of Taylor’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port is the perfect gift for somebody you love. The flavors and aromas this wine presents are interesting, to say the least.

With a nutty, buttery, dark chocolate taste, with a hint of coffee and citrus, this port will leave your taste buds craving more. When we tasted this port we noted that it tasted similar to a delicate Christmas pudding packed with flavor and charming aromas.

Pros

  • Fantastic to drink now - This port tastes great now, there is no need to wait.
  • Super reasonable price - Taylor’s Tawny Port is excellent value for money.
  • Natural - There are no added colors or unnecessary ingredients in this bottle of port.

Cons

  • Not as impressive as the more expensive Tawny Ports - Other bottles of Tawny Ports do pack a better punch but this is a great cheap alternative.

RUNNER UP

Fonseca Bin 27

The Fonseca Bin 27 Port is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. With an intense fruity nose loaded with pure blackberry, cassis cherry, and plum aromas combined with notes of spice this port goes well with a variety of dishes and desserts.

Your palate will be greeted by a deep ruby, full-bodied, and smooth velvety texture balanced by mouth-filling tannins

Pros

  • Great price - You will struggle to find a cheaper bottle of port.
  • Flavors - This port is crammed with flavor.
  • Crowd pleaser - Your friends and family will be very impressed.

RUNNER UP

Adnams Finest Reserve Port

Adnams Finest Reserve Port is an excellent choice if you are looking for a port that will accompany your cheese board or rich dessert. This straightforward dessert wine has a medley of raspberry and blackcurrant jam flavor with a hint of baked cherry and balsamic.

Adnams have done extremely well to produce a charming, well-balanced port with fine and round tannins. The taste is fresh and lingers just like you would expect from a great bottle of port.

Pros

  • Complex aromas - This port will leave you enjoying every sip trying to experience every flavor.
  • Affordable - This port is also super reasonable in terms of price.
  • Long-lasting taste - You enjoy the flavors of this bottle for a while after drinking.

Cons

  • Doesn’t look too exciting - In all honesty, the bottle doesn’t look very exciting or stand out much.

RUNNER UP

If it’s a 20-year-old port you’re after then the Sandeman 20-Year-Old Tawny Port could be the one for you. This port offers notes of blackberries, plums, cinnamon, and cloves that pairs well with your steak dinner.

We loved the long finish on this bottle of port with the multilayers of flavors. The fruity flavors lend themselves wonderfully well with the sweet touch of caramel and chocolate. The bottle itself is attractive and would make the perfect showstopper at your next gathering.

Pros

  • Rich flavors - This port is full of wonderful flavors and aromas.
  • Palate pleaser - You will love the taste of this port. The flavors blend together wonderfully well.
  • Douro Valley Port - This port is from the Douro Valley which is the most popular port destination in Portugal.

Cons

  • Color - For a 20yr old port this wine is quite light in color.

RUNNER UP

Croft Pink Port was the first rosé styled port. This innovative and original wine offers unique and vibrant fruity flavors of ripe cherry and raspberry. With delightful nuances of honey and grapefruit and a dry, attractive finish, this port is a versatile alternative to your typical fortified port.

This port can be enjoyed on special occasions or in a more relaxed setting. We must also make a point of saying this port comes in a beautifully designed bottle.

Pros

  • Unique - There is no other port like it.
  • Great with a variety of food - This port goes well with beef, cheese, and dessert.
  • Fresh taste - Croft Pink Port is a refreshing wine.

Cons

  • Not as strong as a normal port - This port isn’t as strong in flavor as other more common types of port.

RUNNER UP

Baronesa De Vilar White Por

Using port grapes from 40-year-old vines gives this decadent port an exceptional concentration of toffee, caramel, apple, and orange notes, with a fantastic freshness.

This port has helped bring the white port trend back to life. Serve the white port over ice, or add a slice of lime and some tonic if you want to appreciate its full flavors.

At a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with this wine. 

Pros

  • One-of-a-kind - This white port isn’t like any other port available.
  • Presentation - This port is presented in an appealing round glass bottle, perfect as a gift.
  • Price - This port is readily available at an amazing price.

RUNNER UP

Churchill’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port

This 20 year old port is the perfect expression of Douro terroir mixed with a delicate aging process in seasoned oak casks. The port is full of finesse and class that’s in keeping with Churchill’s fresh identity.

This classy port has a beautiful ruby red color and delivers a burst of flavors and aromas straight to our palate. The smooth and pleasant tawny leaves distinct yellow raisins in the nose and apricot, vanilla, and caramel flavors. Enjoy this port with beef or mature cheese. 

Pros

  • Modern and classy - This port has an heir of premium quality about it.
  • Highly rated - Churchill’s 20 year old port is rated amongst the top 1% of wines in the world.
  • Strong flavors - Most importantly this wine tastes incredible.

Cons

  • Like an LBV port - A number of drinkers have said this port is more like an LBV port than a tawny.

RUNNER UP

Taylor Fladgate Fine Ruby Port

If you’re after a high-quality ruby port then this port could be for you. Made using the very best sustainable practices Taylor Fladgate has produced one of the best after-dinner wines.

Aged for approximately 2 years in oak vats this port leaves jammy black plum and blackberry on the nose with undertones of oaky chocolatey aromas.

Bold flavors can be expected with dark fruity tastes and hearty, full-bodied structures that finish the port off nicely with a little hint of spice. 

Pros

  • Historic port wine house - Taylor Fladgate knows how to make a good port. They have been doing it since 1692.
  • Sustainable - Taylor Fladgate follows sustainable practices.
  • Packed with flavor - This port gives you an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

Cons

  • Sweet - Some may find this port a little too sweet for their liking.

RUNNER UP

Porto Valdouro Rosé

This rosé port challenges the Croft Pink Port to the number one spot for pink port. Pressed from temperature-controlled grapes and grown in rich soil vineyards, this bottle of port is right up there with the sweetest of ports. As well as looking great this port has some very strong notes.

This rosé port has a strong cherry aroma and fresh flavors of pomegranate, gooseberry, and raspberry. Balanced and medium-bodied this port is perfect when served chilled just before your evening meal. This is a port you and your guests will love.

Pros

  • Appearance - This port looks wonderful.
  • Taste - Porto Valdouro Rosé is full of flavor.
  • Affordable - This port won’t set you back too much.

RUNNER UP

If you’re feeling extremely decadent and want to splash some cash on an impressive port then strongly consider trying this port. The Quinta do Vesuvio winery has been around since the 1500s so they definitely know how to make an amazing port.

With this luxurious port, you can expect black tea, lavender, blueberry, and black current aromas. The structured tannins underscore the fresh flavor of red fruits. Pair this stunning port with rich meats and cheeses for the best experience.

Pros

  • Elegant - This port is a beautifully structured wine made to a very high standard.
  • Unique flavors - The fruity port also has a unique flavor of black tea and caramel.
  • Goes well with food - This port goes well with a number of dishes and desserts.

Cons

  • Expensive - You have to pay a lot if you want to experience this premium port. We will say it is worth the money if you have it.

Summary

As you can see from our list there is a port out there for everybody whether you are looking for an expensive bottle to impress at your next gathering or simply want a fresh, delicate, and affordable bottle you can enjoy in the evening with your dessert or on a cold Christmas night.

Port varies a lot in flavor and price but one thing is always certain. By buying a good quality port you will have a sophisticated drink that your taste buds will go crazy for. The blend of unique ingredients and the most mature flavors leave you wanting more so you can get the taste of every flavor and aroma.

Now you have our list, why not try some of these ports out. Each one has its own uniqueness that is well worth trying so narrow the list down and find the one you want to try first. We know you won’t be disappointed. 

The 12 Best Port Wines

Buyers Guide

Here are some key things you should also think about when picking the best port for you.

What You Are Having With The Port

Ports vary in flavor which impacts how well they complement certain foods. What you are having your port with will impact which one you choose.

If you are having red meat for dinner then you will want to choose a port that compliments that dish well, for example, a Ruby or LBV port which goes great with steak or venison. A fruity, full-bodied port goes well with mature cheeses and rich desserts.

Price

Ports come in a lot of different prices depending on the quality of the grape, how long it has been aged for, and as a result of the brand’s popularity. You will need to bear this in mind when buying a bottle.

It is a good idea to set yourself a budget first so you know exactly how much you plan on spending. There is no point wasting time looking for a bottle of port that costs $200 when you only have $50 to spend.

Where The Port Is From

An official port can only be called a port if it is from Portugal. If a port is not from here it technically isn’t a proper port.

This doesn’t mean it doesn’t still taste nice but if you want the full experience make sure you buy a bottle from a Portuguese vineyard. All of the wines on our list are from Portugal. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Tawny Port And Ruby Port?

The main difference between Tawny Port and Ruby Port is that Tawny Port can be aged for longer whilst Ruby Port only has a very short aging process. Tawny Port can be served a little cooler whilst Ruby Port should be served slightly chilled.

Finally, Tawny Port has a nutty flavor whereas Ruby Port has a sweet flavor. 

What Is Port Wine?

Port wine is a sweet fortified wine from Portugal that’s made with aromatic grape varieties. These are primarily Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca.

What Meals Does Port Go Well With?

Port goes excellently with meat dishes. It complements duck, venison, veal, and beef wonderfully well. Port also compliments desserts like fudge cake and cheesecake and is also nice when served with a variety of mature cheeses. 

Mandy Winters
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