Types of Port Wine and its Health Benefits
Port wine, a type of red wine, is sweet in taste since it’s made of blueberries, grapes, and some other wines. Moderate consumption of port wine offers several health benefits like preventing chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and maintains mental health. However, it might affect adversely if consumed excessively.
Although drinking port wine is the most popular in Portugal, other countries have also started indulging in the new wine sipping trend that not only tastes sweet, but also offers several health benefits.
Also known as Porto or vino do Porto, port wine is a fortified sweet red wine that is primarily made in Portugal with some variations in its production ways. Even though it is a type of red wine, the addition of alcohols like brandy after port wine’s fermentation makes it more alcoholic comparatively. However, once can consume it in moderation without any worries since it’s not dangerous, unlike other alcohols and wines. On the contrary, port wine consists of several antioxidants and other active ingredients that provide significant health benefits that would be covered later in this blog.
As per an extensive report published by Research Dive, the global port wine market is predicted to register a revenue of $1,025,842.50 thousand and grow at a stable CAGR of 6.0% in the 2021-2028 forecast period. Considering this substantial growth rate, it is obvious that the current wine sipping trend, especially among the millennials, will continue for years and attract the Gen X population as well.
Now that we know what port wine is, let’s explore its making, major types, and the health benefits it offers.
The Making Process of Port Wine
Since most wines are made of grapes, blueberries, and other fruits, the first step of port winemaking is to extract the color and tannin of from the skin of grapes. Although it is a mechanical step, traditional Portugal houses still tread grapes with their feet in large granite tanks. Once the fermentation process starts, brandy, or grapes spirits are later added to prevent yeast formation. This is the main step to produce highly alcoholic and sweet port wine. After adding brandy, port is then put in barrels to age depending on the requirement.
Types of Port Wine
There are different types of port wines, some of which are ruby red, reserve port, vintage port, and tawny port, among many others.
- White port is made from a combination of white wines that are much lower in alcohol content (approximately 2-3%) and is also aged for less than 3 years, unlike other alcoholic wines.
- Besides white port, ruby port is a combination of younger ports and is aged for more than 3 years in huge wooden barrels.
- Tawny port, just like ruby port, is also made from a blend of other wines and stored in barrels for up to four decades.
- Unlike all the above-mentioned wines, vintage port is aged for two years and then transferred to bottles for further maturing for up to 25 years.
Health Benefits of Port Wine
Port wines have quite a few supplements, majority of which are carbohydrates that represent over 99% of the nutrients. Moreover, 3.5 ounces of port wine contains up to 165 calories along with low levels of iron, calcium, and several antioxidants.
- Resveratrol, an antioxidant present in port wines, has anti-inflammatory properties
- Port wine prevents heart and autoimmune diseases
- Maintains mental health when consumed moderately
- Reduced cholesterol levels
To conclude, port wine, when consumed moderately, provide many essential health benefits as mentioned above. Although the alcohol content is merely 2-3%, if consumed excessively, port wine can also lead to gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, and hangover.
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