How an acidic wine became a rich port

As the nights start drawing in, we begin to think about some of those more wintry delights. One of the most traditional is port.

Port as we know it was a British invention. Portuguese wines have been drunk in Britain from as early as the mid-14th century. To ensure that they were stable for travel to Britain, brandy was added before shipment. But it was not until around 1730 that it was found that if the brandy was added to the wine during fermentation, the fermentation process would be stopped, leaving enough sugar in the wine to make the usual acid and astringent Portuguese wines of the time more palatable.  

The most popular styles in Britain are the late bottled vintage (LBV) and vintage styles. The LBV port is from a specified vintage but has been aged in cask for six years and is bottled when ready for consumption. This style tends not to throw a sediment.  

A vintage port is one from a vintage that has been declared exceptional. It is usually from the best vineyards and is bottled when only two years old. This continues to develop in the bottle and often will not reach its peak for 10 or 20 years. This will throw a deposit so it is necessary to decant a vintage port.  

Alan Johnson is managing director of Elegusto Wines

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published


Government confirms £2.45 core pay uplift to support 6% practice pay rise

Global sum payments per weighted patient will rise from £102.28 to £104.73 for 2023/24...

Nurse giving elderly man the flu vaccination

Flu vaccination prevented 25,000 hospitalisations last year

Health officials are urging vulnerable people to come forward for their flu jab after...

BMA strikes

Public blame government for long NHS waits as three-day strike begins

Three times as many people blame the government for the record 7.7m NHS waiting list...

GP typing at computer

GP practices asked to switch on data sharing with UK Biobank

GP practices have been asked to share patient data with the biomedical database UK...

Child vaccination

'Serious concern' as child vaccination rates slip and MMR hits new low

Health officials have voiced 'serious concern' after child vaccination rates in England...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: GP contract trends, the future of physician associates, cost-of-living impact on patient health

The team discusses what recent tenders for GP contracts tell us about the possible...