Discovering real port wine in Porto


Apparently, you can’t call it Port wine if it doesn’t come from Porto. Just like you can’t call it Champagne if it doesn’t come from Champagne. Pardon my ignorance, but I didn’t know this until I visited Porto this month. You see, we make port wine in Goa, and have absolutely no qualms what so ever about calling it just that. But then again, about 80% of the Goan population never mentally or emotionally left Portugal so I’m sure the kind Portuguese don’t mind.

grahams

Seeing as I was in the birthplace of port, I indulged in a little educative excursion to Graham’s wine cellar – one of the oldest and most popular manufacturer’s of port wine. Like most it’s competitors, this one has always been run by a British – who can be credited for the mass production and world-wide distribution of Port wine. The wine trade is a thing of pride, and is treated such by all those involved, as is apparent the minute you step into Graham’s museum-esque lodge, which is perched on the slopes of  Gaia and overlooks the Duoro. A very humble sum of €8 will get you a pleasant hour-something long experience – which begins with an introductory film about the history of the trade and the owners of Graham’s, which is followed by an explanation of how port is made, a walk through the underground cellar and a tasting of three different port wines.

bottles

The tour was just informative enough for me to feel like I learnt a thing or two – I can now tell a vintage from a tawny. Just when I started to lose interest, three generously filled glasses of port were presented to me, allowing me to fully apply the theory I had learnt – the downing of every last drop and the slight slurring that followed was really just educative.

wine

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