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Port

Port is a Portuguese, fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet red wine, but also comes in dry, semi-dry and white varieties. It is often served as a dessert wine. Wines in the style of port are produced around the world in several countries, but under European Union guidelines, only the product from Portugal may be labelled as Port. There are many styles of ports, divided into two major families: rubys (which includes vintage and late bottled vintage ports) and tawnys (including the single-vintage colheitas). Vintage ports, which are bottled young in only the best years, when a vintage declaration is allowed by the consortium overseeing the production of port, fetch the highest prices and can age for decades if not centuries. A Tawny Port is made from a red Port wine that has matured in wooden barrels, whose permeability allows a small amount of exposure to oxygen, and experience what is known as "oxidative" aging. If red grapes are used, in time the red colour lightens to a tawny colour - these are known as Tawny (or sometimes Wood) ports. They also lose volume to evaporation, leaving behind a wine that is slightly more viscous and intense.