Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fortified Wines-- Port & Sherry

Port & Sherry, both wine that you do not hear of often. What are they? Well a form of after dinner drink, not quite "dessert" wine, but some may consider it. SO fortified wines. What does that mean? Well according to the Spanish, where they began & the tradition port & sherry are, here are the facts...

Fortified= adding alcohol to stop fermentation, or adding after fermentation
(fermentation= The formula for the fermentations process is: sugar, added to yeast yields alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast, added to the grapes converts the natural sugars contained in the grapes (glucose and fructose) into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is then released from the wine mixture into the air and the alcohol remains.)

So the difference?
Port= fortification during fermentation. Port can be very strong, fruity, and semi sweet...
Sherry= fortification after fermentation. Sherry is often bone dry [and gross]

More facts, that could bore you-
Types of Sherry: Fino, amontillado, oloroso, & sweetened sherries
There are 2 different ways to make Sherries: Fino vs. Oloroso. It is made my the Palomino grape, and if it is slightly sweet, the PX or Pedro Ximenez grape is used.

Types of Port: Ruby, LVB, vintage, tawny.....these all relate to aging, so ruby would be aged the least & is cheap, while LBV may be aged 3-6 years, and Vintage can be anything more, like 10-20+ years...

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