International Port Wine Day Date in the current year: January 27, 2024

International Port Wine Day If you love fortified wines, don’t forget to celebrate International Port Wine Day on January 27. This amazing holiday was created to promote a style of Portuguese fortified wine that is exclusively produced in the Douro Valley.

Port wine is also known as vinho do Porto or simply port. Much like champagne or cognac, port wine is a protected name. Only fortified wines produced in the Douro Valley from specified grape varieties are allowed to be labeled “port wine”. Port-style fortified wines produced outside of the Douro Valley may be colloquially referred to as port, but they are not port wine in the true sense of the word.

There are over a hundred permitted grape varieties that can be used to make port, but only five of them are widely cultivated: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Tinta Cão, and Tinta Barroca. Touriga Francesca is the most commonly planted port grape variety, whereas Touriga Nacional is considered the most desirable one, but it is hard to grow and has a small yield.

The process of producing port includes adding distilled grape spirits (brandy) during fermentation. It halts fermentation, preventing all sugar from converting into alcohol, and results in a sweet, rich, heavy wine with a high alcohol content (usually around 20%).

There are three main styles of port: ruby ports (aged in glass bottles), tawny ports (aged in wooden barrels), and white ports (ports made from white grape varieties). In addition to these three “normal” categories, there are special categories such as Colheita (single-vintage tawny ports aged for at least seven years) and Garrafeira (ports that are aged for several years in wood, then transferred to large glass containers and further matured in glass for at least eight more years).

Ports are usually sweet, although they also come in semi-dry and dry varieties. They are typically served at the end of the meal with dessert, dried frutis and nuts, or cheeses (for example, blue cheese or goat cheese). However, port can also be served as an aperitif. Port wine is always served at room temperature.

International Port Wine Day was established in 2017 by the Center of Wine Origins. Headquartered in Washington, D. С., the Center was founded in 2005 by Le Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (Champagne Wine Interprofessional Committee) and Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (Port and Douro Wines Institute) to represent the French winemaking region of Champagne and the Portuguese winemaking region of Porto in North America.

The main goals of International Port Wine Day are to protect the heritage of port wine, raise international awareness of this unique Portuguese wine, and educate the general public about the differences between port wine and other fortified wines to help them understand what makes port truly unique.

You can observe this amazing holiday by attending a port wine tasting, buying a bottle of port wine and sharing it with a friend, learning interesting facts about port wine, or even planning a trip to northern Portugal that will include a vineyard tour. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your glass of port wine and share it on social media with the hashtag #PortWineDay to spread the word about the holiday.

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International Port Wine Day, international observances, wine holidays, port wine, port, Portuguese wines