I’ve never really been a  fan of port wine, or for any sweet wines for that matter. But after touring Portugal’s Douro Valley with Viking Cruises, and sampling quite a variety of port wines, I must admit that I have become fond of certain ports – particularly white ports. There’s something about experiencing a wine in the region where it is produced that opens your eyes, nose, and palate to a greater level of appreciation.

One cool fact that I learned is that Porto and Douro wines come from the Douro Demarcated Region, situated in North East Portugal. According to www.wineorigins.com, the difference with port is that after half of the grape sugar has fermented, grape brandy is added to the wine. This stops the fermentation process and contributes the wine’s sweetness.

Before my trip to Portugal, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a white port wine. Now one of my favorite ports is  Quinta do Portal Fine White Port. It’s a dry to semi-sweet aperitif that pairs wonderfully with appetizers and salads that feature fruit and cheese. I find that it is best served chilled.

Alcohol Level:  19%    
Suggested Retail Price:  $15

Have any of your travels changed the way you think about certain foods or drinks?

Disclosure: I’m not a sommelier or even a wine snob. I’m just a regular guy who loves wine. I frequently participate in food and wine chats on Twitter where I share what I like and I learn from others what they like. From time to time winemakers and marketers will send me a bottle of wine to review. If I like it, I’ll tweet about it and possibly even write a blog post about it. If I don’t, you’ll never see it mentioned. I am not paid to review wines. The wine I am sent is my only compensation.

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