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Difference between Ruby and Tawny Port

Difference between Ruby and Tawny Port

Port is a type of fortified wine that originates in the Douro Valley region of Portugal. While it can be made in various styles, the most port is dark and sweet due to its sugar content, with an intense flavor profile derived from years of aging in oak barrels. Among these varieties are Ruby Port and Tawny Port – two distinct types of this beloved beverage that offer subtle differences when it comes to their aroma, taste, color, and strength. In today’s blog post we take a closer look at the details between the two so you can better determine which one will best fit your palate or occasion.

What is Ruby Port?

  • Ruby Port is a type of fortified wine that has been made in Portugal for centuries. Ruby port is made from red grapes, primarily Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, that are harvested from the Douro Valley and fermented with natural yeasts.
  • Once the wine has finished fermenting, it is blended with a spirit to create what we now know as Ruby Port. The result is an exquisite sweet-tasting drink that offers delicious flavors of blackberries and cherries, often accompanied by woody or nutty notes.
  • Ruby port has become a popular after-dinner sipper due to its complex flavor profile and smooth finish. Additionally, Ruby port can be used as the star ingredient in specialty cocktails or simply enjoyed on its own over ice – perfect for any occasion!

What is Tawny Port?

  • Tawny Port is a type of sweet fortified wine, originating from the Douro Valley in Portugal. It’s made from a blend of native grapes and aged in oak barrels over time – the longer it spends aging, the more complexity it acquires.
  • Tawny Ports have notes of caramel, almond, and walnut, as well as dried fruit flavors like figs and raisins, making them rich and full-bodied.
  • Tawny Ports are often served as part of a cheese or dessert course after dinner, but can also be enjoyed alone or with good friends. They make for a great choice when looking for a quality yet affordable wine that packs bold flavor.

Difference between Ruby and Tawny Port

Ruby and Tawny Ports are both wonderful fortified wines, though they differ in flavor profiles and how they are aged.

  • Ruby Port is aged for three years in the barrel, whereas Tawny Ports are aged in barrels for more than two to six years, mellowing its sweetness and producing a richer taste. Ruby tends to be lively and fruity, with hints of red berries sweetening it up.
  • Tawny is darker in color and also smoother with complex flavoring from toasty wood burning, stewed fruit notes, and dried figs as well as a hint of tannins.
  • Ruby’s deep red coloring makes it particularly attractive for enjoying by itself or mixed into cocktails, whilst Tawny’s subtle undertones make it great for pairing with heavier desserts like those based on almonds or hazelnuts.

Both Ruby and Tawny Ports bring delight no matter how you enjoy them.


Port is a fortified wine that is typically made in Portugal, although it can be made elsewhere. Port styles include ruby ports and tawny ports. Ruby port is younger and has more red fruit flavors, while tawny port spends longer in barrels and takes on more complex flavors of caramel, nuts, and dried fruits. When choosing a port, consider what type of flavors you prefer and how long you want the wine to last. If you’re not sure which to choose, ask your local wine expert for guidance.

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