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Keeping an Open Bottle of Vintage Port

December 9, 2011
Question by: Tim, Aberdeen, UK


Dear Port Experts,

I am looking to buy a nice vintage bottle of port for Christmas (1977 - 1980). It is unlikely that the whole bottle will be drunk over the festive period and I am concerned that if a half drunk bottle is left for months (I don't drink port every week !) the port will deteriorate in the bottle due to exposure to air inside the bottle. I had planned to decant the full bottle into some smaller bottles reducing this effect and allowing me to store it but I don't know if this will work. Any advice on how I can keep the port at its optimum once opened for a long period i.e months would be much appreciated.


Hi Tim,  A 1977 or 1980 Vintage Port will be a wonderful addition to your Christmas festivities!  If you are enjoying this with family or friends, we would be surprised if you didn't finish the bottle!  Vintage Port does not keep well after opening - if tightly re-sealed and stored in the fridge it may keep for three or four days at the most, no more.  The wine has had very little exposure to oxygen in its life, so it will change after opening.  Your best bet is to invite more friends around!  You may want to consult our articles about  Decanting and Serving Vintage Ports. 

If you have only a small party, and cannot source a half bottle of Vintage, then you might consider purchasing a non vintage style. Graham's Six Grapes is a ruby reserve port known as the every day Port for the Vintage Port lover, and is a very rich, fruity port indeed, very like a young Vintage.  Six Grapes pairs excellently with either rich dark chocolate desserts or strong cheeses, particularly a Stilton. Learn more about Six Grapes on the Graham's Blog as well.  Once open it will keep for a couple of months if tightly stoppered and kept in the fridge.

Alternatively there is the style of Late Bottled Vintage, a Port from a single vintage year and which has been aged 4 to 6 years in large wooden casks before bottling, and is then aged in bottle a little longer before we release it to the market, ready for drinking. Both our brands of Graham's and Dow's produce the filtered version and which again means that once opened it will keep for a few months in the fridge.


Impresso em

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