Date posted:
August 27, 2009

Time-honoured traditions surround the leisurely luxury and enjoyment of Port. In the olden days women retired to the drawing room, leaving the men around the dining room table to enjoy a bottle of Port and some cigars, whereas nowadays Port is there to be enjoyed by all.


Port is not limited to a particular occasion and can be savoured all year round. Many people tend to think that Port should be decanted, but Ruby, Tawny and Late Bottled Vintage and in fact most South African vintage Ports don't have to be decanted. Only South African Vintage Reserve Ports should be decanted.


Decanting the wine can be an elaborate procedure, but is today done as part of a tradition. In true historic style there should be a candle at hand so that decanting takes place against a light. This is an opportunity to judge colour, and helps guard against pouring over any sediment.


Port should be decanted in a cool room with a lower temperature than the one in which it is to be served. It can then be left open, allowing it time to breathe.


Port is also delightful when served chilled — an experience not to be missed.


A glass of Port should never be filled to the brim — the bouquet and aroma will evaporate. An ideal glass to use would be the international wine tasting glass, which captures all the flavours.


One last ritual has remained when serving Port: a Port decanter should be passed from right to left, guests receiving it from the side closest to the heart — turning it into an expression of goodwill and cordiality.


Port complements stronger cheeses such as Camembert, Brie, Emmenthaler, Roquefort, Limburger, Gorgonzola, Blue Rock and Blaauwkrantz, and is an excellent accompaniment to shortbread and richly flavoured fruitcake.


Tawny Port is highly recommended with coffee and chocolates, while a glass of

tantalising Port and wholesome soup on a cold winter's night will warm the coldest feet.


Port is the result of an evolution and a process of refinement. Its history is steeped in myth and ritual and it is regarded as the viticultural equivalent of man's collective memory — the deep, secret mind in which the entire past lies dreaming its decisive dreams.




For more information, contact the SOUTH AFRICAN PORT PRODUCERS' ASSOCIATION at (021) 780-1051.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Planet Wine | All rights reserved | Privacy Policy

Website Design by Bios Bois - Your IT Nerds of the West Coast