How to Use a Home Port Barrel


A port barrel can be a luxurious addition to any home. With a little time and attention, you can combine your ports of choice into a complex mixture that you can sip with relish. And within a few months, your port will develop a charming complexity, as the new blends with the old. Follow these steps to enjoy a home port barrel.

  • Check the barrel. The tap should start easily, and the stopper should fit snugly. After the initial inspection for chips and cracks, fill your barrel with water, and let it sit for a few hours to check for leaks. If your barrel does leak, don't panic; barrels shrink as they dry, so leaks may disappear after your barrel expands. If leaks continue after several days, however, considering repairing or replacing your barrel.

  • Flush your barrel several times with water. Rinse it well and check for any troubling smells or odors. If the smells persist, you may have to have the barrel re-fired, which also sterilizes it.

  • Fill your barrel halfway with brandy, and let it sit for three days. After that time, try a taste. This will hopefully confirm that no worrisome flavors or odors remain in the barrel. This initial sample will enhance the flavor you get later on.

  • Fill your barrel with your ports of choice. You might start with a 50/50 mix of younger, tawny port and older vintage—after a week, add 100 to 200 milliliters of brandy or liqueur muscat for a sharper or smoother taste. You can also start with a 90/8/2 mix of young port, aged muscat, and brandy. Remember that better input equals better output.

  • Keep your barrel at least half full. You can sample your port every few days at first, making sure to top off the barrel with the same proportion of port, muscat and brandy. But be patient in the long run: Only bottle a quarter of a barrel, at the most, for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!