The Complete Guide To Serve Port Wine

A scrumptious meal with a drooling set of desserts deserves a sweet wine. One of the highly recommended dessert wines you can enjoy together with your desserts is the Port Wine.

Oftentimes, this is the go-to dessert wine for people who invite their friends to come over for dinner. But, it is also necessary that you are also knowledgeable on how to serve Port Wine.

How to open a bottle of Port Wine?

The most common method when it comes to opening a wine bottle is by using a corkscrew. But for Port Wine, people often prefer the Port Tong method. Though the step-by-step process of opening a bottle of Port Wine using a Port Tong can be pretty tedious, it becomes easier once you get used to it.

We highly advise that you also read the manufacturer’s instructions for your safety. However, keeping Port Tong away from the children is highly advisable.

Learn how to open a Vintage Port using both tongs and decant by watching this YouTube tutorial:

10 Step-by-Step Process on how to Open a Bottle of Port Wine

Opening a bottle of Port Wine can get a little tricky and complicated, especially for first-timers. But you will get used to it as time passes by. Here are the 10 steps to open a bottle of Port Wine. Make sure to be always cautious because a simple mistake can cause you harm.

  1. Double-check if the neck of the Port Wine bottle fits perfectly with your Port Tong.
  2. You will need to start a fire by making a stack of charcoal and setting it on fire until you see it glowing red, as it indicates that the charcoal is immensely heated up.
  3. Ensure to place your bottle of Port Wine in an upright position where the space is decluttered, safe, and non-flammable.
  4. It is better to have a long capsule where you can place your Port Wine bottle to keep it in place while its entire neck is exposed.
  5. Immerse a clean yet heavy hand towel in a bucket full of ice and keep it near you for easy access.
  6. Place your Port Tong on top of immensely hot charcoal and let it rest for a while until the tong rings are entirely heated.
  7. Clam the heated rings of your Port Tong on the bottleneck just above the shoulders of your Port Wine bottle and hold it for at least 1 to 2 minutes to transfer the heat.
  8. Remove the Port Tong and take precautions by placing it somewhere safe and away from children, as it can be dangerous.
  9. Immediately but gently wrap around the clean, wet, and cold hand towel where you clamped the Port Tong. With this, the abrupt temperature change will make the glass split safely.
  10. Lastly, once you hear an apparent crack indicating the glass break, you can lift or snap the top portion of the bottle.

How to serve Port Wine?


Though there may be some common ways to serve wine that people are more used to, some types of wine are served differently. You may have encountered a Port Wine once in your life, but you are left in awe of how it should be served.

Port wine is best served at around 75 milliliters with a serving temperature of between 13 to 20 degrees Celsius, but those Rose Port and White Port Wine styles are served at a slightly cooler temperature.

Frequently, port glass and white wine glassware are used to serve Port Wine to captivate its most nuanced flavors.

Moreover, Port Wines have to be decanted prior to serving, especially for the VPW also known as the Vintage Port Wine, as well as the unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage or most commonly known as the Crusted Port.

You can use either a decanter or the traditional or manual method. However, you have to remember that the other port wines, such as the Tawn, Colheita Port, and the Filtered Late Bottled Vintage wine, do not have to undergo the decanting process.

17 Tips on How to Serve and Drink Port Wine according to its type


We have gathered 17 tips on properly serving Port Wine according to its type. This will help you, especially if it is your first time trying it. Make sure that you always keep these things in mind, as they will come in handy in the future.

For more detailed information on how to drink port wine according to its type, check out the tips below for your reference:

Type of Port Wine Tips
Pink Port (also known as Rose Port) ● Has to be served at around 44 degrees up to 46 degrees Fahrenheit

● You can also serve it by mixing with other cocktails

● Has to be enjoyed as it aged for about 2 to 3 years

Ruby Port ● Has to be drunk as soon as possible

● Does not age very well

● Has to be enjoyed while it is still aging in between 3 to 5 years

● Has to be served and paired with a meal

● Also served as an aperitif

● Has to be served and enjoyed below room temperature or around 60 degrees up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit

Tawny Port ● Has to be served and enjoyed at around 55 degrees up to 58 degrees Fahrenheit

● Oftentimes served as an aperitif

● Shall be served with some desserts that are not too sweet

White Port ● Has to be served chilled, or around 10 degrees up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit

● Has to be aged 2 to 3 years prior to serving and drinking

● Has to be served and accompanied with some dried fruits

● Sometimes served by making cocktails

● Best enjoyed by adding some ice, peppermint leaf, lemon zest, tonic, or a slice of an orange

When is the best time to serve Port Wine?

The answer to this question is quite simple and easy. You will enjoy it best when you serve it at a recommended temperature, though, you should also keep in mind that the advised serving temperature of each Port Wine varies. Moreover, you will enjoy it best when you pair it with a recommended food.

What is the recommended serving portion of Port Wine?

The recommended serving portion of Port Wine usually varies depending on the type and sometimes the brand. Though frequently, most types of Port Wine almost always have the same serving portion per glass.

5 Best glassware to use to serve Port Wine

Port Glasses, most commonly known as Port Sippers, are designed to help the drinker fully appreciate their port wine.

Though cordial glasses are often used because people prefer them as it is more convenient for them to sip the Port Wine, tulip-shaped wine glasses are highly recommended because they sparkle brilliantly.

There are a lot of highly recommended Port Wine glasses that you can opt to use, and we have listed 5 of them, which are the top 5 best sellers for 2022 below:

1. Amazon Basics Stemless Wine Glass


  • Brand: Amazon Basics
  • Material: Glass
  • Color: Clear
  • Capacity: 15 Fluid Ounces
  • Style: Stemless
  • Lead-free and dishwasher-safe

2. Glencairn Whisky Glass


  • Brand: Glencairn
  • Material: Crystal
  • Color: Clear
  • Capacity: 170 Milliliters
  • Special Feature: Break Resistant
  • Lead-free crystal and Dishwasher-safe

3. Square Wine Glass


  • Brand: Elixir Glassware
  • Material: Crystal
  • Color: Clear
  • Capacity: 400 Milliliters
  • Clear cylindrical body with slender stem
  • Often used for wedding occasions
  • 100% Lead-free Crystal
  • Handmade

4. JoyJolt Layla White Wine Glass


  • Brand: JoyJolt
  • Material: Crystal
  • Color: Clear White Wine Glasses
  • Capacity: 13.5 Ounces
  • Ergonomic
  • Practical

5. JoyJolt Spirits Stemless Wine Glass


  • Brand: JoyJolt
  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 15 Fluid Ounces
  • Style: Clear
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Dishwasher-safe

Should you decant Port Wine before serving?


Not all Port Wines have to undergo the decanting process, such as the Late Bottled Vintage, also known as LBV, and the Aged Tawny Port Wine, simply because the sediments have already matured before bottling.

On the other hand, all Vintage Port Wines must undergo the decanting process to remove all the natural sediments and enable the aromas to establish while it ages.

But this does not limit all the types of Port Wines to be decanted because you can if you wish, although some types of Port Wine are not advisable to be decanted.

How to decant Port Wine?

Since we have already established that various kinds of Port Wine have to undergo the decanting process, it is a necessity that you know how to decant a Port Wine.

Below are the 3 steps on how to do the decanting process:

  1. Put the Port Wine bottle in an upright position and leave it in a day or two. Doing this will transfer the sediments to the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Delicately open the Port Wine bottle and gradually and constantly pour the liquid in one direction. With this, you will notice that the sediments slowly flow toward the bottleneck.
  3. Get a torchlight or a lit candle (if you want to go traditional) because it lets you see the sediments clearly beneath the bottleneck.

Follow the steps of this youtube tutorial and learn how to decant a wine like a professional:

3 Recommended ways to enjoy Port Wine

There are 3 recommended ways to enjoy your Port Wine: drinking it straight up, making cocktails, or additional spice for your meals. But these ways usually depend on the preference of the drinker but let us know more about them below:

Enjoy Port Wine Straight Up

You can opt to enjoy your Port Wine by drinking it straight up through a traditional port glass. However, you cannot enjoy all types of Port Wine by drinking them straight up.

If you want to maximize your Port Wine straight-up drinking experience, you can try LBV Port or Late Bottled Vintage Port, Tawny Port, and Vintage Port. But we highly advise that it should be at least a decade old if you opt to appreciate Tawny Port.

Enjoy Port Wine through cocktails

You can enjoy all kinds of Port Wine by making various delicious cocktail combinations. There are a lot of Port Wine cocktail recipes you can try to make, serve, and enjoy with your friends and family.

Enjoy Port Wine by using it for your meals

We all know that wines can be used when cooking and baking, and one of the ideal types of wine you can use is Port Wine. Thus, you can always use Port Wine to make some sauce for your meat and cake.

Moreover, adding Port Wine while you cook makes your meal rich in fruity flavors and sweetness. In addition, if there is no available red wine or if you want to reduce the amount of red wine in your meal, the best alternative is Port Wine.

3 Additional Information About Port Wine


We have provided 3 additional pieces of information about Port Wine and how you can utilize and enjoy it fully.

So, you may have wondered what food goes well with Port Wine, the recommended brands you can buy according to your budget and preference, and how long it should last once open because sometimes, you cannot entirely consume it in one sitting.

14 Best Food Pairings with Port Wine

There is a wide selection of food that you can pair with Port Wine, and all of these are a perfect combination.

Hence, you can fully enjoy the potential of the Port Wine in its taste. Though specific food goes well in each kind of Port Wine, you can also try to be spontaneous if that food can be best paired with the other types.

Listed below are the best food pairings with Port Wine

  1. Cheese
  2. Chocolate Cake
  3. Sorbet
  4. Pickles
  5. Olives
  6. Potato Chips
  7. Nuts
  8. Sushi
  9. Salmon
  10. Oyster
  11. Peking Duck
  12. Foie Gras
  13. Fruit Pies
  14. Fruit Tarts

You may also take a look at the table below for your reference in a specific food that goes well with each type of Port Wine:

Type of Port Wine Food Pairing
Rosé Port ● Fresh Red Fruits

● Smoked Salmon

● Canapes

Ruby Port ● Sour Cherry Pie

● Parmesan Cheese

● Asiago Cheese

● Manchego Cheese

● Berries

● Dark Chocolate

● Fresh Raspberries

● Fruit Cakes

● Truffles

Tawny Port ● Peking Duck

● Foie Gras

● Apple Pie

● Chocolate Desserts (Brownies, Cakes)

● Smoked Cheddar Cheese

● Pecorino Cheese

● Milk Chocolate

● Pecan Pie

Vintage Port ● Pumpkin Pie

● Edam Cheese

● Stilton Cheese

● Cambozola Cheese

● Stilton Cheese

● Crème Brûlée

White Port ● Seafood (Oyster, Salmon, Sushi)

● Brie Cheese

● Chevre Goat Cheese

● Comte Cheese

● Gruyere Cheese

● Desserts with Fresh Fruits

10 Recommended Port Wine Brands

For some of you unfamiliar with Port Wine and want to try it, it is advisable to check the highly recommended brand to buy so you will not be disappointed. You have to get your money’s worth. Hence, it is good to invest in popular brands.

Check out the list below of the highly recommended Port Wine brands you should consider:

  1. Burmester
  2. Cockburn
  3. Croft
  4. Fonseca
  5. Kopke
  6. Ramos Pinto
  7. Smith Woodhouse
  8. Taylor’s
  9. Van Zellers
  10. Warre’s

How long does a Port Wine last once open?

In comparison to the typical kind of wine, Port Wine can last for weeks and months depending on its type, style, and how well it is stored. Tawny Port Wine can last up to a few months, while the Latte Bottled Vintage Port, also known as LBV and Aged Tawny Port, can last up to two weeks.

You can opt to store Port Wine inside your wine fridge or cool and dark storage space at 53 degrees Fahrenheit with little to no vibrations or keep this in your underground wine cellar.

Though, it is always advisable to consume Port Wine only a few days after opening it to enjoy its maximum potential taste.

The best tip to know how long you should consume your Port Wine once opened is by its age. The older it is, the quicker you should finish it.


By this time, you already know much about how to serve Port Wine and when is the best time to enjoy it. You can now use your stock of Port Wine on your wine rack by inviting your friends to come over for a casual dinner date to celebrate your productivity at work for the past week.


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