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What is white Port? – ask Decanter

How it differs from other styles and expert advice on how to make an alternative version of a gin & tonic.

What is white Port? – ask Decanter

White Port is made from white grapes, such as Códega, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho.

‘Most are bottled young but some whites are capable of wood age and may now be bottled with the same age indications as tawny Ports or as a colheita,’ said Richard Mayson, in his guide to Port styles.

It is a refreshing and light style, making it ideal for summer drinking. It tends to have flavours of apricot, citrus fruit and peel, and nuts.

‘The dry style is a versatile style of port which can be served chilled as an aperitif, mixed with tonic or as a base for cocktails,’ said Max Graham, owner of Portuguese restaurant Bar Douro.

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How to make a white Port and tonic

White Port can be used as a lower-alcohol alternative to gin, mixed with tonic.

Graham recommends mixing ‘50ml of Churchill’s dry white Port, 100ml of tonic water [he prefers Fevertree], orange peel and a sprig of mint to garnish. Pour all into a glass with ice cubes and stir well.’

Other citrus peel works well, but ‘the orange peel is reminiscent of the orange grove at Churchill’s Quinta da Gricha in the Douro’, said Graham.

Clement Robert MS recommends fortified wines in wine cocktails because ‘they are lighter than liqueurs and spirits but they have the necessary strength to give the whole drink a delicious lift.’

More wine questions answered.

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