There will be a tasting of Port wines at The Empty Glass in Tomball today, May 17, 2014 from 2 pm to 5 pm.

According to the Empty Glass, Port first became popular in the 17th century when the English were at war with France, and could therefore not drink French wines.  The English went in search of a new location to set up vineyards, and the Duoro Valley proved to be quite suitable.  The vineyards are laid out along very steep hills, terraced to provide footing for the vines.

In the seafaring days when this occurred, something had to be done to the wine to allow it to survive the long ocean journeys.  Brandy was added to allow the wine to last longer and to be resistant to temperature changes.  Wines altered like this were called “fortified wines”.