Difference Between Tawny and Ruby Port

Port Wine is a fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal. It is a sweet, robust red wine that has been aged in barrels for several years. The two main types of port …

Port Wine is a fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley of Portugal. It is a sweet, robust red wine that has been aged in barrels for several years. The two main types of port are Ruby and Tawny, and each has its own distinct characteristics.

Ruby Port is a full-bodied, sweet and fruity port made from red grapes. It is aged for a shorter period of time in oak barrels, usually three to five years. The color of the wine is dark red with a deep, rich flavor and a hint of sweetness. It is generally served with desserts, particularly those with dark chocolate or berry flavors.

Tawny Port is a darker, more complex port. It is made from red grapes and aged in oak barrels for a much longer period of time, often up to thirty years. The aging process gives the port a tawny or brownish-red color, and a nutty, caramel-like flavor. Tawny port is often served as a dessert wine and pairs especially well with rich, creamy desserts, such as chocolate mousse or crème brûlée.

The main difference between Ruby and Tawny port is the length of aging and the resulting flavors. Ruby port is aged for a shorter period of time, resulting in a sweet and fruity flavor, while Tawny port is aged for a much longer period of time, resulting in a nutty and caramel-like flavor. Ruby port is usually served with desserts, while Tawny port is usually served as a dessert wine. Both types of port can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of foods.

Tawny vs. Ruby Port

Appearance

Tawny port is typically a light amber to mahogany color, while ruby port is typically a deep, dark, purple. This is due to the different types of aging process each undergo. Tawny port is aged in oak barrels and exposed to oxygen, which causes the color to lighten, while ruby port is aged in vats and sealed away from oxygen, thus preserving its dark color.

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Flavor

Tawny port is known for its nutty and spicy flavor, with notes of dried fruit, toffee, and caramel. Its sweetness is balanced by acidity and tannins. Ruby port, on the other hand, is known for its sweet, jammy flavor, with notes of ripe plums, blackberries, and figs. Its sweetness is also balanced by acidity and tannins, although the tannins are softer than those found in tawny port.

Serving

Tawny port is best served slightly chilled, while ruby port is best served at room temperature. Tawny port pairs well with strong cheeses, nuts, and dried fruits, and is often served as a dessert wine. Ruby port pairs well with chocolate desserts, blue cheese, and grilled red meats, and is often served as an aperitif.

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