With many different types of port wine, deciding which one to buy can be very challenging. Indeed, there are many excellent port wines out there from a variety of brands.
Therefore, this guide will present you with the top 10 best port wine that you can buy online in the USA:
- Sandeman 20 Year Aged Tawny Port
- Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny Port
- Cockburn’s 2003 Vintage Port
- Graham’s 30 Year Tawny Port
- Sandeman 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port
- Royal Oporto Colheita Port
- Churchill’s Crusted Port
- Sandeman Founder’s Reserve
- Niepoort Ruby Port
- Churchill’s White Port Apéritif
Scroll down to see them all or jump ahead using the links above. We will also cover how to choose what port wine to buy below.
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In this guide, we’ll be referring to various styles of port. If you’re not yet familiar with these and their individual characteristics, head to our guide to the different types of port wine first.
With a rich bouet of dried fruit, honey, nuts, and spices, Sandeman’s 20-year-old tawny port delivers maturity and remarkable complexity. It’s blended from wines that are aged between 15 and 40 years for a refined experience. At just $55, it also offers exceptional value for money.
"Given both its price and age, Sandeman's 20-year-old tawny port offers the best value for money."
An undisputed classic, Taylor’s port is a staple in most English homes. Offering rounded and complex flavours despite its younger age, it’s harmoniously balanced and an ideal choice for cold winter evenings.
Although having experienced less barrel-ageing than most vintage ports, Cockburn has an attractive value proposition with a relatively low price point. It may probably need a few more years to reach its optimal age. Nevertheless, it delivers harmonious complexity with a deep forest fruit bouquet and a herbaceous finish.
If you have the budget, we recommend that you seize the opportunity to test Graham’s 30-year-old tawny port. Its breathtaking nose reveals a bouquet of lively yet verbose dried fruit. Meanwhile, its palate is mature yet heavily concentrated with a caramelised essence that’s hard to forget.
Far more affordable than vintage port, LBV ports offer a similar experience that has undergone additional barrel-ageing. You can choose to either hang on to it for a few years or enjoy it immediately. Despite its relatively young age, the bottle ageing will provide you with a balsamic experience with red fruits and spices.
We were pretty blown away by Real Campanhia Velha’s Royal Colheita port. Indeed, it offers an unbelievably affordable opportunity to try this style of port wine. Unlike vintage port, it has been barrel-aged for a long time. Therefore, expect a distinctive mustiness, a copper robe, and a rich caramelised tableau of flavour.
Despite having no relation to Winston, Churchill’s does have an interesting story. After selling Graham’s to the Symington family, Johnny and William Graham decided to launch a new port house, which they named after the former’s wife.
Indeed, it was the first new British port house for over 50 years! Crusted ports are unique blends that are certainly worth trying to see the sheer diversity that port can offer.
Although a ruby port, Sandeman’s Reserve has been barrel-aged for a whopping 5 years. Therefore, it’s going to be far more nuanced and complex than your typical ruby port wine. Despite a development of overt notes of spice, it doesn’t hesitate to boast a vivid fruitiness.
A little younger than Sandeman, Niepoort’s ruby port wine will be heavier of the fruit, which have a ripe rather than dried flavour. An excellent specimen of a classic ruby port that’s certainly worth trying for a sweet and embracing experience.
Despite having spent a significantly long time ageing on wood for a white port, its nuttiness doesn’t overshadow the bouquet’s fruitiness. Best enjoyed as an apéritif, Churchill’s white port if off-dry, which provides a refreshing experiencing on a summer late-afternoon.
How To Choose What Port Wine To Buy
With many different types of port with varying budgets, you might be wondering how to go about choosing the right one. Firstly, we suggest that you familiarise yourself with the different types of port to help you get a better idea of what to expect.
Once you have a good idea of what they each offer, consider then when you plan on drinking the port wine. If it will be during dinner, check out our guide on to how to serve port. It has a section where you’ll learn about the types of port best suited to different courses and pairings.
For instance, a tawny port tends to be enjoyed alongside cheese whereas ruby port may be better suited to fruit. Meanwhile, white port would be recommended as an apéritif rather than for later in the meal.
Furthermore, the season during which you’ll be enjoying the port may affect your preferences. You may prefer something lighter and more refreshing in the summer while a full-bodied and spicy port wine would be welcome during the winter.
It’s also worth taking the occasion into account as well. If you’re hosting a lavish party, do you want to impress guests or would it be more prudent to have a budget-friendly option if a lot of people are attending?
Similarly, you may be choosing port for a more laidback and casual get-together with friends so something overly refined might feel unnecessary. Otherwise, if it’s a family reunion, it might be an occasion for something special.
Ultimately, whatever you opt for is your choice and it’s best to set a budget that you can respect beforehand. While port is relatively affordable compared to cognac, for example, it’s easy to get carried away!
Now that you have read about the best port wine brands, why don’t you check out more of our resources?