Ruby Port VS Tawny Port Wine – What’s the Difference?

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As we approach the holidays, it’s expected that more buyers find themselves purchasing a variety of wines, whether it’s an ingredient in a recipe, for partaking in wine drinking, or giving as a gift.

Many people turn to fancier options on the occasion of gifting someone a bottle of wine. However, fancier wine equals higher prices, as seen with Port wines. Port wines are wines produced and infused with alcohol in Portugal, and they are considered sweeter wine. These wines are popularly consumed as dessert wines and run at $100 or more per bottle. Although there is a slight chance of one purchasing these wines for cheaper, that only occurs in some regions of the world, thus making the probability of finding said sales very small.

There are a variety of these wines, such as White Port, Rose Port, Tawny Port, and Ruby Port. However, Ruby Port and Tawny Port are the most common of these diversified beverages. But, because they are so similar, you may wonder the difference between ruby port and tawny port wine.

port wine
Port Wine @Pinterest

Ruby Port VS Tawny Port – The Aging Process

The aging process is exceptionally the most substantial difference between the two wines. This is how the beverage goes through after fermentation and before bottling. During the aging process, the wine is enclosed in a cask, also referred to as oak barrels, for the necessary amount of time needed to age suitably. The barrels are essential because they help improve the flavor profile of each wine as they provide an aging sanctuary. However, this is where the differences come into play, as Ruby and Tawny Ports are aged a little differently.

Ruby Port is aged in either a large oak barrel or a stainless steel basin because it needs to come into minimal contact with the barrel’s wood. The less it reaches the wood, the higher the chances are of the fruity flavor remaining even after aging. This specific method helps keep the wine’s original hue a vibrant, ruby red color. For Ruby Port, the aging process is much shorter than the process of Tawny Port. It is aged for roughly 18 months to up to 2 ½ years. Thus, Ruby Port is predetermined to be consumed shortly after being bottled and sold.

Similarly, Tawny Port is aged within an oak barrel as well. Just a smaller one due to the contact between the wine and wood being necessary. The smaller barrels are essential because they are compact and provide a more significant amount of oxygenation during the process. Aging Tawny takes longer than aging Ruby, as mentioned above. More specifically, this development takes anywhere from 3 years to 20 years. You can determine how long the wine has been aged based on the numeric 10-count interval marked on the bottle. For example, the bottle you’re looking at could have a number 10, 20, 30, etc. This number indicates the average age of the entire blend.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile is the most anticipated feature that consumers depend on when searching for their favorite kind of wine, hence why wine tasting events have become widely popular! However, one thing to keep in mind while indulging in finding the perfect wine is that all wines don’t taste likes grapes or berries in general. Of course, there is still that fruity hint to the beverage, but quite a bit of the original fruit taste can become secluded.

The flavor profile of Ruby Port is essentially jam-packed with a distinctly fruity taste after being fermented. This flavor tends to be highly rich, although it is still exceptionally smooth – even with the slightly harsh taste of alcohol. Nevertheless, the flavor can alter while in the appropriate barrel for aging. Many wine drinkers have claimed Ruby Port to have a different taste of cinnamon, cloves, chocolate, and even licorice – along with the berry taste, of course!

On the other hand, Tawny Port has a much more mature flavor profile. Before aging, it has a similar profile to Ruby. However, the longer the wine ages, the less prominent the fruity flavor becomes. Because it has been wallowing in an oak barrel for years and years, the barrel’s wood begins to modify the overall taste of the wine. After the aging process has concluded, Tawny Port is more likely to have a nutty-citrus taste. It will still have a fragment of beer, but consumers have also mentioned a taste of almonds, apricots, hazelnuts, and more.

port wine with ice and lime
Port Wine with ice and lime @Pinterest

Color

Both Ruby Port and Tawny Port are berry-based wines. They are both naturally vibrant red substances before fermentation and aging. The color can change to a nearby hue during the aging process or fade into a lighter shade of the original red.

For Ruby Port, the color of the wine isn’t affected much. As I mentioned before, Ruby has a bright red color from the berries. It’s a very perceptible color as it instantly reminds buyers of said berries – cherries, raspberries, etc. If any color changes do appear during the process, it’s usually just reported to darken into an, almost, light black color slightly.

Tawny Port goes through a bit more drastic change during the aging process. Once again, Tawny is originally a vivid red color. However, being aged so closely to the wood in the oak barrels changes the color from red to a more red-brown hue. This change does not appear to happen every time, but it is still a relatively well-known modification. A helpful tip to remember when purchasing Tawny is to decipher the wine of red as it appears. The darker the tone, the longer it was previously aged. For example, the oldest aged cases of Tawny Port usually appear as a more-so gold or copper hue.

Ruby Port VS Tawny Port Price Comparison

It was previously mentioned that Port wines are more so on the expensive side of wine buying. An essential bottle of wine costs a minimum of $5-$7 each and, depending on the brand and production, that price can increase heavily.

Of all the Port wines, Ruby Port is the least expensive. The minimum price for a single bottle of Ruby is similar to that of a basic wine. This lower price has been thought to occur due to either the shorter aging process or that Ruby is ideally made to be indulged shortly after bottling and purchasing. Meanwhile, Tawny Port is much more expensive. The price range depends on the age. Therefore, younger bottles are between $35 and $40, and older bottles are between $350 and $3,000 each.

ruby port wine
Ruby Port Wine @Pinterest

Ruby Port VS Tawny Port – Serving Difference

Wine pairs perfectly with many main and side dishes. Most likely, you’ll hear about a juicy steak, salad, or seafood being the ideal match alongside a chilled glass of wine. Or maybe you’ll notice people enjoying their wine while indulging in some delicious dessert. That’s where Port wines come into play!

Ruby Port is the best option if you’re looking for a delectable dessert wine. It’s best savored when served slightly chilled to bring out more flavor. However, a glass of room-temperature wine seems to be a favorite as well. Because this is a sweeter, fruit-flavored wine, it’s excellent for those wine tasting events I mentioned earlier! And, as far as pairing goes, Ruby is well-treasured with chocolate desserts or an array of different cheeses.

Tawny Port Wine is often considered to be a more elegant blend. Similar to Ruby Port, Tawny is best served slightly chilled. However, Ruby is more of a chocolate-paired wine, while Tawny is popularly paired with ice cream, pies, cheesecake, etc. Many also enjoy a glass of Tawny with an assortment of dry cheeses.

Similar to Ruby Port and Tawny Port, they have some very astounding differences. Both beverages offer customizable delights of their own based on your wine drinking preferences. Whether you’re planning an event or just looking to relax with a nice dinner and some wine, find yourself s bottle of Port wine and treat yourself to the fruity luxuriate!

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