News article

Port Wine taken to a different flavor at B.U.

O Jornal | 23-09-2009 | General, Regions, Other Subjects
Taste the breadth and depth of two of Portugal's most important and historic wines, the famous Port wine and the "Douro" wine.
Sept. 24 witnesses the collaboration between The Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) of Portugal and Boston University's Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center.

"Through 21 brands and over 120 different wines to taste from, we seek to demystify some beliefs about Port wine and bring awareness to the wines of the Douro region," stated Louisa Fry, from the communication and marketing department at IVDP. "The Douro wines have been around for so long but only now are they gaining international recognition."

This very unique and rare event is the first of its scale to be held in Massachusetts. Attending the event will be numerous agents and also various producers, readily available to answer questions regarding the different wines.

"The attendants can expect to learn about the various descriptions of the wines and experience the sensory differences in the Ports and Douro wines," stated Rebecca Alssid from the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center. "They can choose the ones they like best, find out about the land and terroir (zone) where the grapes are grown and where the wines are made. There will also be hand outs that can be studied for educational information."

According to Alssid this event taking place between 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (3 to 5 for the Trade, free, 5:30 to 7:30 for Connoisseurs, $25 fee.), will be set up as a tasting where participants can taste the various Douro wines and Ports from the different winemakers.

"There will also be some snacks so that people can also taste it with food," she added. This type of event, as a tasting is the first of its kind between the center and IVDP.The Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) is the ultimate guarantee of the authenticity of Porto Wine. It is responsible for certifying and supervising the Porto and Douro Denomination of Origin by controlling the quality and quantity of wines that are permitted to bear this designation of origin. It promotes the wines of the region to diverse audiences around the world.

"Our intention is to explain why our Port wines and Douro wines are so different and unique," stated Fry, adding "our wines are versatile, they can be consumed all year round, in different social settings and with different foods. We need to educate people how to take better advantage of our wines and how to consume them in a respectful and fun way."

The Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center a facility at Boston University was established for the study and promotion of wine and other spirits.

According to Alssid, the Center's purpose is to foster education programs at Boston University that explore all aspects of wine, including viticulture, enology, wine history, economics, distribution and marketing, the pairing of wine with food, the psychological, physiological, and cultural phenomena of wine consumption. Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.        

Established in 1756, the Port Wine-producing Douro region is the third oldest defined and protected wine region in the world after the Tokaj-Hegyalja region in Hungary, established in 1730 and the Chianti region in Italy 1716.

Under European Union guidelines, only the product from Portugal may be labeled as Port. The names Dão, Oporto, Porto, and Vinho do Porto have been recognized as foreign, non-generic names, for wines originating in Portugal.

The wine received its name "Port" in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe.

Also in 1756, during the rule of the Marquês de Pombal, the General Company of Viticulture of the Upper Douro, was founded to guarantee the quality of the product and fair pricing to the end consumer. It was also in charge of regulating which Port Wines would be for export or internal consumption and managing the protected geographic indication.

Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified with the addition of an spirit known as "Aguardente" in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in cellars, before being bottled.


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