Fortified Wines (Port, Sherry, and others)

PORT

Port is made from a blend of black grapes, whose skin is soaked during for a short period during fermentation. Grape derived spirit such as Brandy or Cognac is added to the Port during fermentation which kills off the yeast. Here are the different styles of Port:

Ruby Port: Generally cask aged for 3 years before bottling

Reserva Ruby Port: Better quality wine, with more intense, complex fruit flavours, often cask aged up to 5 years.

Late Bottle Vintage: Wine from a single year's harvest, produced much the same way as a Reserva Ruby, intense red and black fruit flavours. 

Tawny Style Ports: Aged between 10, 20, 30, 40 years average. 

SHERRY

Sherry is made by Palomino grapes, ferments in stainless steel tanks, and alcohol is added in different stages after fermentation to create the different styles of Sherry.

Fino Sherry: A layer of yeast called Flor protects this Sherry from oxidising, which maintains its freshness and should be consumed quickly. Fino Sherry is often called Pale Sherry because it's pale in colour and the driest of the Sherry style. Pale Cream Sherry is sweeten with grape juice. 

Amontillado Sherry: Made from Fino Sherry, but during maturation, spirit is added to the Sherry which kills the Flor, and the Sherry subsequently oxidises and creates the distinctive nutty flavour and the colour changes from pale to amber. Amontillado is often dry, but if it's sweetened, it is labelled as "medium".

Oloroso Sherry: Spirit is added after fermentation reaches 18% abv, which means Flor doesn't grow at all, and the Sherry is oxidised throughout its maturation process. It's deep brown in colour, and has intense nutty, coffee, and meaty flavours. Oloroso is normally dry, and sweetened Oloroso is called Cream Sherry. 

PX (Oedro Ximenez): Intensely sweet sherry made from sun-dried Pedro Ximenez grapes. It is made similar to Oloroso Sherry, where fermentation is stopped by fortification. PX Sherry has intense flavours of dried fruits, including figs, prunes, raisins, and sultanas. 

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