Port wine is bursting with complex aromas and flavors. It can be enjoyed on its own, but it can also be paired beautifully with food.
In this article, you will learn what food pairs best with Port wine.
Quick answer: Pair Vintage and Ruby Ports with strong cheese and dark chocolate desserts. Pair Tawny Port with nutty, creamy cheese and caramel or chocolate desserts. Pair White and Rosé Port with olives, almonds, canapés, fish and salads.
Vintage Port food pairings
Vintage Port is an exceptional wine bursting with complex, concentrated flavors of berries, dried fruit (prune), chocolate, coffee, leather and spices.
It is typically served at the end of a meal.
Serve Vintage Port with dessert or a cheese course/cheese board.
Pair Vintage Port with:
The classic Port pairing is with blue cheese. It is a classic pairing because it works well. The flavors in Vintage Port compliment and stand up to the bold flavors of blue cheese. That said, any strong-flavored cheese will work well with Vintage Port.
- Blue cheese, e.g., Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, Bleu d’Auvergne
- Aged Cheddar
For something a little bit different, try Vintage Port with soft cheese like Serra da Estrela, Camembert or Brie.
The chocolate flavors in Vintage Port goes perfectly with rich chocolate desserts.
Ideally, go for dark chocolate over milk chocolate. The bitter flavors will balance well with the sweet fruity notes in Port.
Chocolate desserts to pair with Vintage Port include:
- Chocolate fondant
- Dark chocolate mousse
- Chocolate cake
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port food pairings
LBV Port is made from a single vintage (harvest year). It’s typically aged between four to six years, resulting in a full-bodied wine with rich, fruity flavors and a smooth texture.
LBV ports have notes of red and black berries, plums, cherries, chocolate and spice (pepper, cinnamon).
It has a similar flavor profile to Vintage Port. So, it also pairs well cheese and chocolate.
Serve LBV with:
Serve LBV port with a delicious cheese board that is a mixture of strong and medium-strength cheese:
- Blue cheese
Add some mixed nuts and dried fruit for your guests to nibble on too.
- Chocolate mint cheesecake
- Dark chocolate pear tart
- Chocolate Mille Feuille
For something a little different, serve it with main dishes such as filet mignon.
Tawny Port food pairings
Tawny Port is a sweet, full-bodied wine that ranges from tawny (more brown than red) to brown (no redness) in color. The longer the wine is oxidatively aged, the browner the color will be.
As Tawny Port ages the primary fruit flavors fade and transform into dried fruit flavors, such as raisins and prunes. Tawny Ports also have notes of walnut, chocolate, coffee and caramel.
The flavors in Tawny Port pair well with cheese and desserts with caramel, chocolate, coffee and nut flavors.
Serve Tawny Port with:
Nutty and hard cheese
- Aged Cheddar
Caramel, nutty & chocolate desserts
- Almond cake
- Crème caramel
- Crème brûlée
- Chocolate walnut cake
- Tarte tatin
White Port food pairings
White Port is made with white grapes. White Port is a blend of different harvests and is matured in oak barrels and stainless-steel vats.
It is a sweet full-bodied wine with intense aromas and flavors.
White Port comes in different sweetness levels, but even White Ports labelled “Extra Dry” have a hint of sweetness to them.
Young White Port has fresh fruity and floral aromas. Serve well chilled as an apéritif (before dinner), with fish or summer salads.
Serve White Port with:
- Salted almonds
- Pâté on toast
Refreshing summer salads
- Dried fig salad
- Salad with pomegranate
- Grilled sole
- Tropical fruit trifle
- Apricot tart
For something a little different, try drizzling some White Port over fruit salad. The sweet, fruity flavors of the Port will complement and enhance the fruit salad flavors. Let it marinate in the fridge a little before serving.
Aged and mature White Ports develop complex tertiary aromas such as nuts, honey and dried fruits (apricots).
Lágrima Port is sweet enough to be served with desserts or pair with a nutty, creamy cheese course/board.
Rosé Port food pairings
Rosé Port is sweet, full-bodied fruity wine with strawberry, raspberry, cherry notes.
Rosé Port is usually served chilled as an apéritif (before a meal). It is also popular for making cocktails.
Serve Rosé Port with:
- Mixed nuts
- Salted almonds
- Mixed berry tart
- Strawberry tart
- Bakewell tart