Port Wine Alcohol Content: 9 Port Wine Styles and Their ABV

by Hunter Robillard

Port is a Portuguese fortified wine with an alcohol content of around 20%.

This spiced-up sweet wine is a great digestif drink - the perfect way to end a relaxing evening! This article will cover how Port wine alcohol content is determined, the different Port styles and their ABV, how to pair and serve this delicious wine, and the differences between Port and Sherry wine.

Further reading

  • Curious if sweet wines age well? Find out that and more in this Sweet Wine Guide.
  • Find the perfect Port Wine for your romantic evening.

How Is Port Wine Alcohol Content Determined?

Most Port wines have an alcohol content between 19–22%, which is higher than a regular red or white wine (10–14%.) 

So, if you’re sipping on a glass of Port wine, keep in mind that this elegant yet powerful tipple will get you drunk faster than an average glass of table wine!

But, why does this Portuguese wine have such a high alcohol content?

During winemaking, a neutral grape spirit (called brandy) is added to the wine. 

This stops the fermentation process and increases the alcohol content substantially while preserving the residual sugar levels in the wine.

But, this differs from one style of Port to another.

9 Different Port Wine Styles And Their Alcohol Content

Here are the nine most popular Port wine styles, their alcohol content, and some exotic wine recommendations:

1. Tawny Port 


Tawny Port wine is a sweet red wine with an alcohol content of 19.5%. This complex barrel-aged red Port has delicate nut and caramel flavors. 

Best Tawny Port bottles:

  • W & J Graham's 'Ne Oublie' Tawny Port ($8,016)
  • 1969 W & J Graham's Single Harvest Tawny Port ($562)

2. Ruby Port 


This is a red Port dessert wine that boasts of young fruity flavors and high tannins. Ruby Port has an alcohol content of 20%.

Best Ruby Port bottles:

  1. Burmester Novidade Reserva Port ($764)
  2. Burmester Vintage Character Port ($47)

3. White Port 


This sweet white wine is made with white grapes like Malvasia Fina and Gouveio. White Port wine has an alcohol content of between 16.5%–20% and a bouquet of honey, nectar and hazelnut flavors.

Best white Port bottles:

  • 1952 C. da Silva Dalva Golden Colheita White Port ($373)
  • Massandra Collection White Port ($506)

4. Rosé Port 


This wine combines the delicacy of a Rose wine and the elegance of Port. It’s a sweet wine with an alcohol content of 20% and bright berry, strawberry, and caramel flavors.

Best rose Port bottles:

  • Croft Pink Rose Port ($17)
  • Quinta do Tedo Rose Port ($21)

5. Colheita Port 


This single-vintage fortified wine has an alcohol content of 20%. Colheita Port is aged in wood for at least seven years, giving it a nutty, oxidized flavor. 

Best Colheita Port bottles:

  • Taylor Fladgate Limited Editions 1863 Single Harvest Port ($4,279)
  • Taylor Fladgate Limited Editions 1896 Single Harvest Port ($ 4,630)

6. Vintage Port 


Vintage Port wines are from a single year’s harvest and have an alcohol content of 19.5%. Vintage Port can be aged for 10–50 years in the bottle. Once opened, the wine exudes wood spice aromas with hints of dark plum. 

Best vintage Port bottles:

  • Sandeman Vintage Port ($127)
  • 2011 Dow's Vintage Port ($227)

7. Single-Quinta Port (SQVP)


This Portuguese wine is made from a single vineyard (Quinta). It’s a juicy and well-balanced wine with an alcohol content of 20%.

Best single-Quinta Port Bottles:

  • Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Tributa Port ($3,120)
  • Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port ($1,184)

8. Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) 


Produced from grapes from a single vintage year, this fortified wine has rich berry and plum flavors. This wine has an alcohol content of 20% and is aged for 4 to 6 years before bottling.

Best Late Bottled Vintage Port bottles:

  • Alves de Sousa Quinta da Gaivosa LBV Port ($30)
  • 2009 Quinta do Noval Unfiltered LBV Port ($40)

9. Crusted Port



Crusted Port is a newer and rare wine style, bottled without filtration. This causes sediment (or crust) to form over time in the bottle. Crusted Ports are characterized by dark berry aromas and have an alcohol content of 19%.

Best crusted Port bottles:

  • Fonseca Bicentenary Edition Crusted Port ($51)
  • Niepoort Bioma Vinha Velha Crusted Port ($44)

Food Pairings Based On Port Wine Style and Alcohol Content


Since Port wine is considered a dessert wine, it pairs deliciously with a range of desserts, nuts, and cheese snacks.

Here are some popular Port wine food pairings:

  • Aged Tawny and ruby Port: Pecan pie, dark chocolate cake, or cheesecake
  • Rose and white Port: Lighter dessert dishes like fresh peaches and lemon meringue pie 
  • LBV and Vintage Port: Brie cheese, blue cheese, dark chocolate, or almonds

Additionally, you can add Port wine to different snacks to create mouth-watering appetizers like Port wine cheese and dried fruit compote.

How To Serve And Drink Port Wine


Port wines should be served at around 15-20 °C (59–68 °F) and poured into a Port wine glass. 

When drinking Port wine, it’s best to take small sips. This way, you can taste the whole array of delicious fruity flavors without being overpowered by the sweetness and alcohol content.

Wondering what are the differences between Port and Sherry? 

Port vs. Sherry: Key Differences


Although Port and Sherry are both fortified wines with high alcohol content, there are many differences between the two:


Get Your Hands on the Perfect Port Wine!

Port wines are typically sweeter and have a higher alcohol content than traditional wines. 

These delicious wines can be enjoyed as an aperitif, digestif, or celebratory drink at different festive occasions.

On top of that, some vintage Ports also make a fantastic addition to your long-term wine collection. 


If you’re looking to invest in a flavorful Port or other fine wines, you can use a reliable wine investment platform like Vinovest, which lets you buy, store, and sell wines with just a few mouse clicks.

So, sign up and add these delicious dessert wines to your wine portfolio now.

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