Fortified Wine, Dessert Wine, Port Wine

An Introduction to the Most Quotable Wines on Earth

“You know the old caution: Champagne after sherry makes tummy grow wary.” -Niles Crane I’ve always wondered what Niles and Frasier Crane were talking about. They walked around espousing obscure French literary references, in Italian suits, while holding those tiny wine glasses . And from those glasses they sipped this caramel-colored, somewhat translucent beverage that provoked the haughtiest of behavioral patterns. I knew it had to be something special.

Fortified Wines

Born of the need to protect wines on long sea voyages, fortified wines were created. As trade expanded in the 16th and 17th Centuries to finally encompass the whole globe, many of the wines from Europe became spoiled on their long journeys across the oceans. To counteract this problem, wine makers took up the practice of adding measures of brandy to stabilize the wine.

Port Wine: Portugal's Douro Valley, Making Port Wine & the History of Port

Port is a fortified wine from the remote vineyards in Portugal's Douro Valley. Here, in the Douro Valley, time has almost stood still. You will not find the latest wine making techniques and fancy equipment. Instead, you will find a wine industry much the way it was over a hundred years ago. Yet, in spite of it, or because of it, vintage Port is one of the world's greatest wines. Port takes its name from the city of Oporto that is situated at the mouth of the 560-mile long Rio Douro or River of Gold. Although many port-style wines are made around the world – most notably Australia, South Africa and the United States – the strict usage of the terms Port or Porto refer only to wines produced in Portugal. It is these wines that we will explore here.