PORTONICO! Experience the ultimate summer thirst quencher! The national drink of Portugal anytime! We choose to upgrade our version with a barrel aged white Porto from Infantado. Simply pour over ice in a high ball, or old fashion glass one part white Porto to one part or more (to your taste!) of quality sparkling tonic water. Garnish with a slice of citrus (orange, lemon, or lime) and a sprig of fresh cut herb (mint sprig). I have even had the Portonico garnished with cucumber. OR drink by itself, chilled or over ice as an aperitif.
This white porto is composed of Gouveio, Rabigato, Vosinho and Moscatel Galego from exclusively Class A parcels (Pousado, Vale de Moinhos, Serra de Cotas) totaling three and one-half hectares on poor schist soils. The fruit is hand-harvested, partly destemmed and fermented in lagar and tank with indigenous yeasts and some skin contact; fermentation is stopped with seventy-seven-degree grape brandy. The wine is aged in a combination of very old tonel or balseiro (tall wooden tanks from 3,000-60,000 liters with thick staves that slow down oxidation) and the classic Port pipa (550-liter horizontal casks with thinner staves that promote oxidation). It finishes at a modest nieteen and one-half percent alcohol and thirty grams per liter of residual sugar, rendering it legally dry or seco. Average age in bottle is between three and four years. 6000 to 8000 numbered bottles produced annually.
A typical white Port shows a golden color, aromas of honey and nut, and has low acidity. Even those white Ports labelled as “dry” or “extra dry” will have some residual sugar, and sweetness levels range from off-dry to fully sweet.
Most producers mature their wines in neutral vessels of stainless steel or concrete. Some white Port is aged in wood casks, however, to impart color and complexity. Wood-aged white Port tends to show a darker gold color, more complex aromas and a distinctively nutty character. Most white Port is aged for no more than three years, often closer to 18 months.
Production of white Port is quite similar to that of red Port, with a key distinction being a shorter (or non-existent) maceration period for white Port. In both cases, the alcoholic fermentation is arrested by the introduction of a neutral grape spirit of about 77% alcohol-by-volume. The high alcohol kills off the yeast before it has had time to complete alcoholic fermentation, meaning before all the grape’s sugars are fully converted into alcohol. This process is known as fortification, and results in a fortified wine that is high in both sugar and alcohol. White Port typically has somewhere between 16.5% and 20% abv.
Simply pour over ice in a high ball, or old fashion glass one part white Porto to one part or more (to your taste!) of quality sparkling tonic water. Garnish with a slice of citrus (orange, lemon, or lime) and a sprig of fresh cut herb (mint sprig). I have even had the Portonico garnished with cucumber.