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Taylor’s is one of the leading brands of Port wine and for good reason. They have been making Port wine since 1692, so they know how to make a good Port wine.

But if you are new to the world of Port, you may be wondering what percentage of alcohol is in Port wine.

In this article, we are going to cover how much alcohol is in Taylor’s Port wine and how that compares to other brands of Port wine.

Key takeaways:

  • Taylor’s Port wine is typically 20% ABV.
  • Port wine alcohol content, in general, ranges between 19-22% ABV.

What is Port wine?

Por is a sweet fortified wine from the Duoro Region in Portugal.

How Port Wine Is Fortified

The grapes are handpicked and sorted. Then, they are crushed and fermented in a shallow granite trough, known as a lagar.

When approximately 50% of the natural sugars in the grapes are fermented into alcohol, the juice is drained into another container where it is fortified with grape spirit.

The grape spirit, also known as the “aguardante”, is colorless and odorless. The wine and grape spirit are mixed in a ratio of 4:1 (80% wine to 20% grape spirit). The result is a sweet fortified wine.

See our article on How Port wine is made, for more details.

Port wine being stored at Taylor’s.

Why Port is higher in alcohol than wine

The spirit or aguardante that is added to fortify the wine increases the alcohol levels in the wine.

The alcohol levels prior to fortification are low at only 5-9% ABV (because only 50% of the natural sugars are converted to alcohol); however, the abv of the grape spirit is high.

The grape spirit is usually around 77% ABV and legally can be no stronger than this. As previously mentioned, approximately 20% of the fortified wine is grape spirit. This results in a wine that is between 19-22% ABV.

The alcohol levels in regular wine come solely from the fermentation process, meaning it does not have any grape spirit added to it.

Port wine alcohol content

Port wine alcohol content ranges between 19-22% ABV.

Port is higher in alcohol than regular wine. For comparison, a regular bottle of wine is usually between 11-14.5% ABV.

Taylor’s Tawny Port alcohol content

Taylor’s Tawny Port with indication of age is usually 20% abv.

The Tawny Port in the image below is a 10-year-aged Tawny.

Taylor’s Tawny Port with 20% ABV

Taylor’s LBV Port alcohol content

Taylor’s LBV Port is also usually 20% ABV.

Taylor’s LBV Port with 20% ABV

Variations in alcohol content in Port wine

Different Port producers can have different alcohol levels within the 19-22% ABV range. That being said, most of the producers that I have come across make Port that is 19-20% ABV.

Below are some examples of other producers and the alcohol levels in their Port:

Quinta Das Carvalhas Tawny Ports with indication of age are 20% ABV.

Velhotes Port wine is typically 20% ABV.

Calém Port is either 19.5 or 20% ABV. Most styles are 19.5% ABV.

Grahams LBV Port is typically 20% ABV.

Porto Cruz Reserve Port is typically 20% ABV.

Calem Special Reserve and Fine White

How much Port wine to serve

Port wine should be drunk in smaller quantities than regular wine due to the higher alcohol content.

Serve 75 ml/3oz portions in a white wine or Port wine glass.

What ABV in alcohol means

The Alcohol by Volume (ABV) percentage is a standard measure used to indicate the strength or potency of alcoholic drinks. ABV correlates to the quantity of pure alcohol in a specific volume of an alcoholic drink.

Port wine and units of alcohol

A small glass (50 ml/1.75 fluid oz) of Port wine with 20% ABV contains about one unit of alcohol (where one unit of alcohol is defined as 10 mL).

Read with confidence: I am a certified wine expert (WSET L3).