Now you have determined the type of port wine you
have - vintage port, crusted port or LBV - and decided that it needs
The next stage is to prepare the
bottle - really that just means standing the bottle upright in the room that
you plan to decant it in some hours before you need to open it.
this should be done 24 hours in advance to give the sediment time to settle
to the bottom of the bottle of port. However, if you don't have time
then a few hours should get most of it to the bottom.
are now almost ready to open the port and pour it into your port decanter. Most bottles of port
wine that need
decanting will have a driven cork - the same kind of cork as any bottle of
wine. Most likely if the port has a stopper cork, one with a plastic
top that you can easily pull out, it will not need decanting.
check the label just in case - in the world of port there is always an
exception to any rule.
Remove the metallic or
plastic wrapper that surrounds the cork, being careful not to shake the
bottle and disturb the sediment. Using a corkscrew remove the driven
cork, again using gentle persuasion to remove it so that the sediment
remains at the bottom of the bottle.
opening should be done a few hours in advance to give the port a little
As a little side note here,
you may have heard of people using port tongs to open bottles of port.
These are for very old bottles of vintage port only, where there might be
some doubt about being able to draw the cork cleanly with a corkscrew.
method for port tongs is a bit dramatic as it involves heating the port
tongs until they are red hot, clasping the hot tongs round the neck of the
bottle, and then using a cold, damp cloth to give the hot glass a thermal
shock that snaps the neck of the bottle off complete with cork.
worry - unless you have something really special, like a bottle of 1963 vintage port, in your attic you are unlikely
to ever need to resort to port tongs!
So step 2 - prepare the bottle.