What Is Tawny Port?


Wine is wittingly one of the more classy, affordable alcoholic beverage options out there. It’s perfect for gatherings, gifts, and more! Although when it comes to purchasing wine, many buyers settle for the cheapest bottle available at their local grocery store. And while those brands are excellent choices, it’s commonly heard that most of them taste the same or have a harsh taste to them. This intense flavor is well-known to exist within fortified wines. However, for those of you craving a sweeter, less extreme alternative, try Tawny Port Wine!

About Tawny Port

Tawny Port Wine is an elegant epitome of Port wine. It is fermented, produced, aged, and bottled in Portugal and various other Port wines. There are two kinds of Tawny Port wines; basic Tawny and vintage Tawny. The basic version of this wine is infused with sweater flavors and notes of nuts, cherries, cream, etc. while vintage Tawny is made a but harsher in taste and appears to be a darker hue of red. Nonetheless, both versions remain sweet and have become a popular beverage to indulge on during the holidays as it is the perfect match for those holiday sweets! However, Tawny is a much lighter, almost translucent complexion by mixing the white and red Port wines.

otimas ten year old tawny port
Otima’s ten year old Tawny Port @Pitnerest

Aging Tawny Port

Aging does not occur for all wines, and it is not necessary to do before consuming. It is most commonly done with fancier wine to improve them overall taste-wise. The longer a wine is aged, the more the taste and appearance become altered.

When it comes to aging Port wines, Tawny Port takes the longest to age suitably. It is stored inside small wooden barrels for anywhere from 3 years to 20 years. Sometimes even longer than that, depending on preference. The smaller barrels are used to sanction a slower oxidation process, which helps towards improving the wine in many ways. Alongside this, the wood of the barrels contacting the wine incorporates some delightful taste changes. The amount of time Tawny is aged is optional, although it has become known that aging it for longer than eight years brings out a beautiful, deep Tawny hue as well as a variety of nutty flavors. Thus making the statement, “it only gets better with age,” a fact!

Styles of Tawny Port Wines

After the aging process has concluded, bottles of Tawny are then marked with a number. These numbers are labeled as increments of 10 (i.e., 10, 20, 30, etc.) and are used to indicate the overall age of the wine’s blend. Once Tawny has been aged, bottled, and labeled, it is ready for selling and consumption. There is no need for further altering of the wine as most wines continue improving after being bottled. The 10-year and 20-year aged wines are much more common, although Tawny can age for up to 40 years.

After starting out as a vibrant red, the color develops to be a pink-red hue and is nearly translucent when being viewed. The 10-year tawny port still appears lighter due to less oxidation time. As mentioned before, this wine is aged in wooden barrels, giving it more time to mingle with the wood and producing a crisp, nutty flavor.

The 20-year tawny port is significantly different than the 10-year-old wine. After being aged for this long period, the Port wine now emerges into beautiful copper color. This drastic change is created due to an increase in oxidation levels. This style of Tawny is known to be a sophisticated beverage. It is modified into a sweeter, almost buttery flavor with an enticing aftertaste of caramel notes.

What Color Is Tawny Port?

Wines are produced with the essential ingredients – grapes. Because of this, much associate wine with being made into a red or white color. And although that is a traditional appearance of these fortified wines, Tawny’s color is slightly different. Tawny is a lively red color during the production process, but as it becomes fermented and aged, that red will soon turn into a lighter gold-brown hue.

gold brown tawny port
Gold brown tawny port @Pinterest

Pairing Tawny Port

Pairing wines can become a bit tricky at times. To find the perfect blend, aroma, or color to match your preference can be a long search. Depending on the event, dinner, gift idea, etc., that you’ve planned for this wine, the best way to choose a good blend is to find one that compliments the occasion. Tawny Port has been described as presenting a delectable, sweet flavor similar to crème brulee, pecans, caramel, etc. These flavor notes offer a nearly irresistibly candied taste, perfectly paired with other sweets. Hence, Tawny Port is the best dessert-pairing wine.

What Desserts to Pair With This Wine?

When pairing Tawny Port with an indulging dessert, a helpful tip is to refer back to those increments of 10 mentioned earlier – as well as the sweetened profile of the dessert. This is because, based on how sweet the treat is, the best matching blend of Tawny will be more precious. For reference, this blend is the ones that have been aged for a more extended period! Therefore, Tawny Port wine could pair perfectly with desserts such as:

  • Ice Cream
  • Cheesecake
  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Crème Brulee and much more!


Tawny Port wine is a highly exceptional wine that offers a little something for all wine drinkers. Whether you prefer the taste of alcohol or something sweet, Tawny Port is provided with a variety of styles to accommodate each craving! Plus, the wine lasts longer, whether it’s refrigerated or not! Just keep in mind that, although Tawny is a well-known dessert wine, it’s great for all occasions, dinners, and more!

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