Fortified wine means wine to which distilled spirit(usually neutral grape based) has been added during(Port) or after fermentation(Sherry) depending on how sweet you want the finished product to be. During the fermentation yeast converts the grape’s natural sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide. So when distilled spirit is added to the fermenting liquid the flavour and alcohol content doesn’t continue to evolve.
Sherry is a fortified wine from the Jerez region of Spain. Sherry has gone through a revival in recent years and is currently becoming more popular then ever for bartenders to use in a cocktails.Its use in a cocktail doesn’t have to be limited only to a small amounts but can be also a brilliant base ingredient. There are different types of Sherry which can differentiate from each other based on fortifying and aging aprocess which influence flavour, body and level of sweetness.
Fino Sherry – Driest style, pale and light bodied which brings brininess. and saline flavours. 15–16% ABV
Manzanilla Sherry – The lighest style with the same technique of production as Fino.
Amantilado – Rich, umami and nutty flavours due to oxidation.18% ABV
Oloroso Sherry – Heavy, full bodied, complex and usually dry(Palomino grapes) but can be also sweet(Moscatel).18–19%ABV
Port is a sweet fortified wine which comes from the area of northern Portugal Duoro Valley. Port is usually stereotyped as a post-meal drink but can be also used in a range of different cocktails with its chocolate and spice notes. There are different styles of Port each with its own characteristics and flavours.
White Port– Non-traditional type of Port made from a white grapes can be sweet or dry. Typically served chilled as an aperitif.
Ruby Port – This is standard sweet red port, the cheapest option, aged for up to 3 years, blend of different vintages
Tawny Port – This is a blend which spend some time in a barrel to soften the flavours. Aged for a minimum of 5 years.
Vintage Port– The finest port , single harvested, developing complex , layered flavours.