Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.
Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses a higher alcohol content than traditional wines. This is caused by the addition of distilled grape spirits (alcohol) to fortify the wine and halt fermentation before all the sugar is converted to alcohol and results in a wine that is usually 19 to 23% alcohol.
Ruby and Tawny are both Port wines. The difference is found in the amount of time both has spent aging in casks prior to blending and bottling.
– Ruby Port is younger, has spent less time in the cask, perhaps only a few years, and has retained more of its natural color, and sweet, fruity characteristics from the grapes. As a result, its colors are more of a deep, ruby color.
– Tawny Port has aged longer in the cask, sometimes as long as 20 years, and as it matures, more of its color fades to a brownish, tawny color. In addition, its flavors are less sweet, have have deeper, more complex, characteristics.