If you’re a fan of port and are looking to pair your bottle with a meal, there are many non-specialty foods that pair well with port wine. Below are a few everyday foods to consider.
What is Port Wine?
Known most commonly as a dessert wine, Port is a fortified wine made exclusively in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. While there are about 100 varieties of grapes that are sanctioned to produce Port wine, only Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional are commonly used.
Styles of Port Wine
There are a number of styles of Port wine, including Tawny, Ruby, Late Bottled Vintage, and Vintage, each presenting their own unique set of tastes and textures. If you’re a fan of port and are looking to pair your bottle with a meal, there are many non-specialty foods that pair well with port wine. Below are a few everyday foods to consider.
Foods that Pair Well With Port Wine
Wine and cheese is a common food-drink pairing, but switching out your bottle of red for a Port can enhance the experience. The contrasting flavors of salty cheese and a sweeter tasting Port will deliver a new combination of palate pleasing tastes to a traditional party platter.
2. Chocolate Cake
A traditional blend of dessert and dessert wine, Port and chocolate cake are a perfect way to end any meal. The balance of the rich fruity flavors of Port, and the sweetness of Chocolate cake, create a delectable pairing enjoyed by most anyone.
3. Creating a Port Wine Sauce
Port wine may not be commonly served alongside main-course dishes, but it does go great when the dish includes a Port wine sauce. A great mixture of flavours can be found when creating dishes such as chicken with a Port and mushroom sauce, the richness of the Port wine reducing to create the perfect sweet and savory combination. Be sure to pair a Late Bottled Vintage, or Vintage style Port alongside this tasty dish.
To add a little complexity to a traditional and simple dessert, add a dash of Port wine on top of your sorbet before serving it to guests. This not only will enhance the flavor of the dessert, but it also gives a pleasing visual presentation.
5. Pickles and Olives
For a simple appetizer, consider putting together a mixed bowl of various types of stuffed olives and pickles to serve alongside a small glass of port. The salty and briny flavors of the pickles make an ideal contrast to the deeper fruit flavors of the Port.
Whether you’re creating a complex meal or a simple dish, Port wine is both useful in the kitchen and a delightful accompaniment for appetizers and desserts.
Images by Muffet and Chef.MGreenwood used under Creative Commons License.