What is Port Wine?

Port is a fortified wine and sweet wine from Portugal with hints of nuts, caramel, raspberry and chocolate. Fortified means another spirit has been added, and with Port, this spirit is Brandy. Fortified wines like Port are higher in alcohol than most wines, so Port is often made in a sweeter style to mask the dizzying alcohol flavours. Port is typically enjoyed with a dessert, nuts or cheese, however, depending on the style, there will be many other options. Below are the more common styles of port and what they pair up best with.

Best Food with Ruby Port

Ruby Port is the youngest style of port and pairs best with blue cheeses, dark chocolate desserts and desserts made with berries and cherries. Ruby Port lacks the nuttier flavours of aged port and features sweet notes of blackberries, cherries, dates, figs, plums, raisins, raspberries and licorice. Ruby Port works with all cheeses, but with Blue Cheese it excels as the sweet fruit flavours of the port contrast the saltiness of the cheese.

Ruby PortChocolate
Ruby PortRoquefort Cheese
Ruby PortCherry Desserts
Ruby PortPlums
Ruby PortWalnut Desserts
Ruby PortCherry Pie
Ruby PortBrownies
Ruby PortDates
Ruby PortStrawberries
Ruby PortStrawberry Desserts
Ruby PortFrench Silk Pie
Ruby PortAnko (red bean paste)
Ruby PortButternut Squash Ravioli
Ruby PortRhubarb Tart
Ruby PortPoached Pears
Ruby PortBlackberries
Ruby PortCheddar Cheese
Ruby PortBerry Desserts
Ruby PortFruit Desserts
Ruby PortFoie Gras
Ruby PortRaspberry Dessert

Best Food with LBV Port

Late Bottled Vintage Port pairs best with goat cheese, almonds, blue cheese, brownies, nuts, and dishes in a mole sauce. LBV Port is a style of Ruby port that has been bottled 4-6 years after being harvested. LBV is much less expensive than a Vintage Port yet features similar characteristics such as spice, vanilla, raising, and blackberries. LBV Port can be kept for a few weeks after opening as long as it is refrigerated.

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortValençay Cheese
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortGoat Cheese
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortBrownies
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortChocolate Chip Cookies
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortNuts
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortLight Chocolate Cake
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortStrawberries Dipped in Chocolate
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortChicken in Mole Sauce
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortPork in a Mole Sauce
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) PortEnchiladas in a Mole Sauce

Best Food with Vintage Port

Vintage Port matches up best with blue-cheeses, smoky cheeses, chocolate and nutty desserts along with appetizers featuring figs, dates or cheese. Vintage Port is the highest quality of Ruby port and can be aged for decades. Vintage will pair well with all the foods we mentioned for Ruby, however, as it has deeper notes of butterscotch, dried fruits, smoke and spices, it’s extra nice with special occasion foods.

Expect some sediment in the bottle, and try to finish this wine in one sitting as it does not last long after opening. One of the reasons Vintage Port is expensive as it is not made every year. Instead, Vintage Port is only made during the years where the growing conditions are best. Vintage Port can also age up for a century, making it an incredibly special fortified wine.

Vintage PortStilton Cheese
Vintage PortChocolate
Vintage PortFourme D'ambert Cheese
Vintage PortRoquefort Cheese
Vintage PortCherry Desserts
Vintage PortDark Chocolate
Vintage PortCustard Desserts
Vintage PortNutty Desserts
Vintage PortPlums
Vintage PortWalnuts
Vintage PortFigs
Vintage PortDates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
Vintage PortAlmonds
Vintage PortBerry Desserts
Vintage PortBlue Cheese
Vintage PortGorgonzola Cheese
Vintage PortCoffee-Flavored Desserts
Vintage PortCookies
Vintage PortNuts
Vintage PortBruschetta
Vintage PortCheddar Cheese
Vintage PortReblochon Cheese
Vintage PortRicotta Cheese
Vintage PortSbrinz Cheese
Vintage PortTete De Moine Cheese
Vintage PortVermont Shepherd Cheese
Vintage PortFruit Desserts
Vintage PortHazelnut
Vintage PortBeef Teriyaki

Best Food with Tawny Port

Tawny Port pairs best with blue cheese, foie gras, chocolate cheesecake, ham, roasted almonds, apple pie, fruit cake, tiramisu, and crème brûlée. The more you age a Tawny Port, the better it pairs with intense foods as the wine develops more and more complicated flavours. Thus a 20-year old Tawny port is more suitable with foie gras, whereas a 10-year old Tawny Port is delicious with an apple pie. However, no matter what style of Tawny Port you pair up with, I doubt you’ll get any complaints.

Tawny Port is a fortified wine with nutty and fruity tones. Brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, coffee, dried fruit, smoke, spice and vanilla all dominate the nose. Tawny Port is essential at Thanksgiving as it is phenomenal with Pecan, Apple and Pumpkin Pie. Tawny Port will also pair up with duck or venison dishes featuring dark cherry or berry sauces. You’ll just want to keep your portion sizes limited to 2 or 3 ounces as Tawny Port is deceptively high in alcohol.

Tawny PortStilton Cheese
Tawny PortChocolate
Tawny PortCaramel
Tawny PortRoquefort Cheese
Tawny PortDark Chocolate
Tawny PortCrème Brûlée or Crème Caramel
Tawny PortCustard Desserts
Tawny PortDates
Tawny PortFigs
Tawny PortFruit Dried
Tawny PortNutty Desserts
Tawny PortPumpkin
Tawny PortWalnuts
Tawny PortWalnut Desserts
Tawny PortCaramel Glazed Apple Pie
Tawny PortTarte Tatin
Tawny PortCrème Brûlée
Tawny PortAlmonds
Tawny PortBanana Desserts
Tawny PortTiramisu
Tawny PortCaramel / Toffee Cheesecake
Tawny PortBiscotti Nutty
Tawny PortBlue Cheese
Tawny PortGorgonzola Cheese
Tawny PortChocolate Cheesecake
Tawny PortBayley Hazen Blue Cheese
Tawny PortMilk Chocolate
Tawny PortCoffee-Flavored Desserts
Tawny PortIce Cream Chocolate
Tawny PortNuts
Tawny PortPrunes
Tawny PortRaisins
Tawny PortRaspberry Dessert
Tawny PortStrawberries
Tawny PortBaklava
Tawny PortHazelnut Banana French Toast
Tawny PortApple Pie
Tawny PortPumpkin Pie
Tawny PortFruit Cake
Tawny PortPecan Pie
Tawny PortCandied Nuts
Tawny PortJamón Ibérico
Tawny PortCaramel Tart
Tawny PortCheesecake
Tawny PortFoie Gras Terrine Torchon Pâté
Tawny PortDark Chocolate Truffles
Tawny PortRoasted Chestnuts
Tawny PortBread Pudding
Tawny PortPeanut Brittle
Tawny PortApricot Dessert
Tawny PortCake
Tawny PortCupcakes
Tawny PortSpice Cake
Tawny PortLancashire Cheese
Tawny PortMahón Cheese
Tawny PortMonterey Jack Cheese
Tawny PortMuenster Cheese
Tawny PortPecorino Cheese
Tawny PortPont-L'eveque Cheese
Tawny PortSerena Cheese
Tawny PortVermont Shepherd Cheese
Tawny PortCream Desserts like Custard or Pudding
Tawny PortFlan
Tawny PortFoie Gras
Tawny PortMacadamia Nuts
Tawny PortPeaches
Tawny PortRice Pudding
Tawny PortStrawberry Desserts
Tawny PortVanilla
Tawny PortPork Satay

What is the Difference Between Tawny and Ruby Port?

Tawny Port differs than Ruby Port as Tawny is aged in small oak casks for a long time. This gives Tawny Port a nutty and dried fruit quality. Ruby Port is only aged a couple years at most, and as such, it is much fruitier and sweeter than Tawny Port.

Best Food with Colheita Port

Colheita Port pairs best with crème brûlée, chocolate cake, brownies, trail mix and fruit cake. Colheita Port is a Tawny Port style where the wine has been aged in oak for at least 7 years, and the grapes are from a single harvest. With Colheita Port you’ll find notes of caramel, coffee, almond, honey, plums, cherries, dried fig, smoke and walnuts. The best of both worlds as you get a balance between fruit and nuts.

Colheita PortCheese
Colheita PortCrème Brûlée
Colheita PortDark Chocolate
Colheita PortBrownies
Colheita PortWalnuts
Colheita PortTrail Mix
Colheita PortFruit Cake
Colheita PortChocolate
Colheita PortNuts
Colheita PortDried Fruit
Colheita PortLight Chocolate Cake
Colheita PortFruit Cup
Colheita PortChocolate Pudding

Best Food with White Port

Dry White Port pairs best with shellfish, smoked salmon, swiss cheese, or as an aperitif. Sweet White Port pairs up with melon desserts, cheese, white chocolate desserts, strawberry shortcake and lemon squares. With white port, expect flavours of citrus, honey, peaches and nuts.

White Port - DryOysters
White Port - SweetSponge Cake
White Port - SweetCantaloupe
White Port - SweetWatermelon
White Port - SweetPears
White Port - DrySalmon Smoked
White Port - SweetStrawberry Shortcake
White Port - DrySwiss Cheese
White Port - SweetSorbet
White Port - SweetLemon Bars / Lemon Squares
White Port - SweetPeaches and Cream
White Port - SweetWhite Chocolate
White Port - DryGouda Cheese
White Port - DryCrab
White Port - DryLobster