The History of Port

Port was developed in the early 1700s because of a trade agreement between England and Portugal.  England and France had been in a mercantile war that oftentimes broke into open warfare and of course, England is too far north to really grow and ripen grapes (though they’ve been exploring Sparkling wines of late).  Therefore, the English were looking for other places where they could possibly find wine, and one of those places was Portugal.  They concluded a treaty in 1703 that reduced the duties on English woolen goods, which would then be shipped to Portugal, and reduced the duty on Portuguese wine, which would then be brought back to England.

Well, this all sounded well and good except that the Portuguese wine didn’t taste the same as the French wine, and the English consumers didn’t accept it.  Therefore, the individuals who were involved in the trade had to come up with a new type of wine, and they were the ones who developed what we know today as Port.  They arrested fermentation when the wine was still quite sweet and added alcohol until the wine roughly reached 18% alcohol.

Philip Carter’s Port Style Wine – ‘1762’

In the spirit of this tradition, our port style wine is made from 100% Chambourcin grapes from the 2015 harvest.   It has been aged in Bourbon Whiskey barrels from the A. Smith Bowman distillery for 38 months.  The wine is fortified shortly after fermentation with high alcohol grape brandy and is both unfiltered and unfined.  This wine shows an intense deep red color with orange hues from longer barrel aging.  On the palate, it is full of ripe red fruit flavors, rich dark chocolate, and a touch of bourbon leading to a long-lasting finish.  It is 6.3% residual sugar and 18.8% alcohol.

Food Pairing Notes

This port pairs well with both mild goat cheese as well as aromatic blue cheese. A fine cigar is also a worthy companion for this wine.