Port has been shipped over to the UK for over 300 years and some of the biggest producers in Porto have heavy links with Britain. During our wars with France in the 17th and 18th centuries, we had to look elsewhere for our wines and Portugal was the perfect spot, as we already shared good relations. The fortification using brandy was a measure put in place to ensure the wines arrived in the UK in the best possible condition as they would spend a number of weeks crossing by sea and the extra alcohol and sugar helped to preserve the wines in the barrel.
Port is probably the drink we get the most questions about at Christmas and is THE perfect partner to a cheeseboard.
Port is so versatile too. If you're not into your cheese, it's also fab with desserts.
You could serve a Ruby Port with something rich and chocolatey and a Tawny Port with traditional Christmas pud. Dry White Port has been having a bit of a moment lately as an aperitif. Try it with a splash of tonic as a fresh take on a G & T and you'll see what I mean...