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#1
Old 10-19-2006, 03:44 PM
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How to keep port after the bottle is open

I just bought a really good (and expensive) bottle of port, and I realized I have no idea how to seal the bottle once I open it. In my house, any bottle of wine that gets openned is usually drunk that night, but I doubt I'll go thru a whole bottle of port in one sitting. Any suggestions?
#2
Old 10-19-2006, 03:47 PM
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Port is Port because it's already gone through the oxidation process that ruins wine. That's why some Port comes, you'll notice, with a reusable cork, which you won't find on regular wine. You'll notice that stale wine, that's been subject to oxidation, starts to acquire that slightly "porty" taste. Now, you don't want that happening to your Zin, but that's part of the process that wine undergoes on its way to becoming Port.
#3
Old 10-19-2006, 03:48 PM
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So, in other words, just cork it and put it back in the cupboard till your next pour. I'll be right over.
#4
Old 10-19-2006, 03:50 PM
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Wow, that was fast! Thanks, and that's kinda what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure.
#5
Old 10-19-2006, 03:50 PM
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I've had previously opened bottles of port for a year with no ill effects (on the quality of the port, that is). It's the nature of the drink... no resealing necessary.
#6
Old 10-19-2006, 03:54 PM
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Was that why port was invented in the first place-- a way to make wine "keep" longer?
#7
Old 10-19-2006, 03:59 PM
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Just off the top of my head, I'd say that's probably a bit of cart/horse displacement. I'm sure it wasn't intentionally "invented" at all; Port happened, someone liked it, reproduced the process, and perhaps discovered afterwards the side benefit of a longer shelf life. That's my theory.
#8
Old 10-19-2006, 04:03 PM
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If it's a low-sediment port, I use a recorker, like this:
http://home.earthlink.net/~andreweal...RKER/index.htm

However, when it's a highly-sedimented port, a lot of people decant it, that is, they pour it into a glass decanter. They do this because of the dregs (the sludgy sediment that colects in the bottom of the bottle.) When you decant, be very careful as you reach the bottom not to get any dregs into the decanter. Their are fine-mesh silver strainers you can buy to help filter out the dregs. After you pour the port in, close the decanter with its stopper.
#9
Old 10-19-2006, 04:04 PM
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I'd preserve it the way you would preserve any other wine, or well, the way I would any other wine, were I ever to keep wine longer han 3 or 4 days, which I never do anyway.

Gas it with something like Private Preserve or whatever that stuff is called, seal it with a tight fitting cork, put it in the fridge. Even then, I would expect to finish the bottle within a week, 2 weeks, maaYYY be 3 weeks, tops if it's a ruby or vintage.

I suppose a tawny could be kept the same way for longer, but I don't think I'd personally keep one longer than a couple of months and expect it to be in top condition.
#10
Old 10-19-2006, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycat90
I'd preserve it the way you would preserve any other wine, or well, the way I would any other wine, were I ever to keep wine longer han 3 or 4 days, which I never do anyway.

Gas it with something like Private Preserve or whatever that stuff is called, seal it with a tight fitting cork, put it in the fridge. Even then, I would expect to finish the bottle within a week, 2 weeks, maaYYY be 3 weeks, tops if it's a ruby or vintage.

I suppose a tawny could be kept the same way for longer, but I don't think I'd personally keep one longer than a couple of months and expect it to be in top condition.
Just curious. Do you keep your port like this--in the same way you'd keep "regular" wine--just out of a personal preference? Or do you believe that Port is indistinguishable from "regular" wine in this? It's my understanding, in other words, that the precautions you take are unnecessary with Port. I'm curious as to why you think otherwise. Serious question. In OTHER other words: cite?
#11
Old 10-19-2006, 04:18 PM
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I was just wondeirng this same thing, as I have a bottle of port I opened a few weeks ago. I don't have much experience with port, so I assumed it would go off as fast as any other wine.

Good to know that's not the case. I think I'll celebrate with a glass of port tonight!
#13
Old 10-19-2006, 04:54 PM
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I do. And in fact, fortified wines are about the only wines I actually do keep longer than a few days, simply because I tend to drink much less of them in a night. I do believe a tawny Port should not be kept longer than a couple of months, like I said a tawny can probably last that long if preserved well (but will still not be in the condition it was when first opened), but a vintage, forget about it. A vintage I wouldn't even attempt to keep for more than a day or two, even with the method I prefer to preserve all wines - gas, tight cork, fridge. I'd expect a ruby to last about as long as any other wine, 1-2 weeks, 3 weeks would be pushing it. Not simply personal preference, the wines just won't hold up for that long.

Perhaps you're thinking of Madeira, which is a wine that can last for months, possibly even years in an open bottle.


And since you asked so nicely, a cite.
#14
Old 10-19-2006, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycat90
I do. And in fact, fortified wines are about the only wines I actually do keep longer than a few days, simply because I tend to drink much less of them in a night. I do believe a tawny Port should not be kept longer than a couple of months, like I said a tawny can probably last that long if preserved well (but will still not be in the condition it was when first opened), but a vintage, forget about it. A vintage I wouldn't even attempt to keep for more than a day or two, even with the method I prefer to preserve all wines - gas, tight cork, fridge. I'd expect a ruby to last about as long as any other wine, 1-2 weeks, 3 weeks would be pushing it. Not simply personal preference, the wines just won't hold up for that long.

Perhaps you're thinking of Madeira, which is a wine that can last for months, possibly even years in an open bottle.


And since you asked so nicely, a cite.
Well, as your cite says, it's appropriate to treat a port like unfortified wine about 3% of the time.
#15
Old 10-19-2006, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Just curious. Do you keep your port like this--in the same way you'd keep "regular" wine--just out of a personal preference? Or do you believe that Port is indistinguishable from "regular" wine in this? It's my understanding, in other words, that the precautions you take are unnecessary with Port. I'm curious as to why you think otherwise. Serious question. In OTHER other words: cite?
What psycat90 said. I try to finish a bottle of port within about a week (I mostly drink tawnies rather than vintage ports), and I can taste the difference on a day-to-day basis.
#16
Old 10-19-2006, 05:10 PM
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Unfortunately, I'll never be able to afford a port from that top three-percentile, where such distinctions can be made. Of course, I've never had a bottle of port last longer than a couple weeks, so my experience may be well within the margin of error.
#17
Old 10-19-2006, 05:15 PM
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Well, I don't expect it to last longer than a week or two. If I open it on a weekend night, it might very well be gone then and there. As I said in the OP, this just isn't ever an issue for me with wine.
#18
Old 10-19-2006, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Well, as your cite says, it's appropriate to treat a port like unfortified wine about 3% of the time.

Not exactly. It does say Vintage Ports account for 3% of ports, and that those should be consumed immediately. I'd take that as meaning they have an even shorter 'open bottle' shelf life than still wines, which I'd give about a week max if preserved correctly.

It also says a tawny should last several weeks once opened. Several weeks=couple months or so in my book.

All that said, the OP did not mention what type of port he has, but did say that his purchase was expensive, so I'm just assuming he'd want to keep it in as pristine condition as possible. Just offering what I'd do if it were my purchase - gas/cork/fridge/consume within a couple of months.
#19
Old 10-19-2006, 05:36 PM
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My favorite (inexpensive, that is) port is Sandeman's Founder's Reserve Porto, and I can definitely a subtle change in flavor and texture after even as little as one day. It is still good port, and it will indeed last a long time before becoming undrinkable, but to me it is at its best and smoothest when freshly opened. I've found, however, that using a vacumn pump and rubber stopper and refridgerating it will keep it almost as fresh as when first opened. I've found that these pumps and stoppers work well with other varities of wine as well.
#20
Old 10-19-2006, 05:37 PM
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'Scuse...make that 'and I can definitely detect a subtle change, etc.'
#21
Old 10-19-2006, 05:45 PM
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Actually - consume within a couple of days/weeks/months, depending on the style, but I guess I sort of covered that in my original post.

Now I've got a craving for port. I might have to pick up a bottle of Taylor Fladgate LBV 2000 on the way home.
#22
Old 10-19-2006, 07:15 PM
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I just screw the cap back on extra tight...
#23
Old 10-19-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycat90
Actually - consume within a couple of days/weeks/months, depending on the style, but I guess I sort of covered that in my original post.

Now I've got a craving for port. I might have to pick up a bottle of Taylor Fladgate LBV 2000 on the way home.
Is that a good one? I know a bit about wine, but not much about port (excpet that I like it). What does it go for?
#24
Old 10-19-2006, 07:25 PM
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$16 - $20 is the range I've found for TF LBV 2000.

We try to buy ports in splits to avoid the whole "storage" problem. But sometimes you just can't. That's why I am trying to amass a bunch of good recipes that use port as an ingredient, so don't have to ....<shudder>...throw it away before we finish it.
#25
Old 10-19-2006, 07:39 PM
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Same price range around here.

It's a decent LBV port at a decent everyday price. Nothing extraordinary, but nice on those nights I crave that style of port.

The best Port I've ever had was given to me by my mother's boyfriend, who is Portuguese and brings a few bottles back from his annual returns.

I wish I had taken note of the name. It was a Vintage, that's all I remember about it (this was 3 or 4 years ago.)

Maybe I'll call my mother and ask her to ask him for me. (He doesn't speak English and I don't speak Portuguese or I'd ask him myself.)
#26
Old 10-19-2006, 07:53 PM
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The best one I've ever had was a Rutherford Hills Zinfandel Port. They made the fortifying spirit from the same wine that went into the port. It was stunning.
#27
Old 10-20-2006, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Just off the top of my head, I'd say that's probably a bit of cart/horse displacement. I'm sure it wasn't intentionally "invented" at all; Port happened, someone liked it, reproduced the process, and perhaps discovered afterwards the side benefit of a longer shelf life. That's my theory.
Though the process evolved over the years, fortification began as a quite intentional process. Wine was fortified with grape spirits to make it more stable for transport. As people came to like the product, the amount of spirits in the drink were gradually increased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
We try to buy ports in splits to avoid the whole "storage" problem.
I agree. A couple years back, I bought a case of Taylor's 1995 Vintage Quita de Vargellas. It was a case of splits and came in a cool wooden case. I had the first bottle a few weeks back. It was super yummy, and I had it finished in a couple days. And yes, I gassed it between sittings.
#28
Old 10-20-2006, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Unfortunately, I'll never be able to afford a port from that top three-percentile, where such distinctions can be made.
Vintage ports aren't always incredibly expensive. There are probably some on the market right now in the $15-$50 range that are quite good.



I'll have to check out that Rutherford Hills Zin Port. I have had a few Zin ports from Napa, Sonoma, and the Paso Robles area, and I really like the style.

With the cooler weather coming, it will be nice to have a few different bottles on hand.
#29
Old 10-20-2006, 01:05 PM
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I just bought a bottle of Warres 1980 port for my boss - where would that be on the vintage scale?
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---remainder of post deleted. All is well...move along.
#30
Old 10-20-2006, 01:42 PM
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According to Robert Parker's vintage guide 1980 is in the 'Above Average to Excellent' range for port and ready to drink now. (He gave it an 84.)
It's just a guide remember, and one man's guide at that. My suggestion would be to do a search on the vintage and see what others say. Or a search on that particular brand and vintage and read some reviews. Short of that, the only way to tell how good that particular bottle is is to drink it.

Robert Parker's Vintage Chart (pdf)

Forth Wines Vintage Guide
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