When in Porto, you have to check out the port, right? Today we went to Casa Kopke, the oldest port wine house (built in 1683). We had to go port tasting in Porto! If you are not familiar with port, let me give you a brief description. Port is a Portuguese wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.
It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.
When you first arrive, the Casa Kopke won’t look very obvious. It’s located at the heart of the riverside of the Gaia city. The Kopke house is a three-story space at the very end of the street, right next to a very busy restaurant. The Kopke cellar is right off of the river and across from many colorful buildings. You can enjoy the sunshine and water outside after your tasting experience. That’s what we did :).
When you go inside Kopke, everything is neatly placed. The signature black bottles of Kopke port line the shelves, and the employees greet you with big smiles. We weren’t sure whether we should buy a tasting experience, but our server showed us the menu and encouraged us to try the port. She told us that we could split a tasting, which was music to our ears, since I’m not actually a huge wine fan. We decided to go with the second tasting, which included five tastings, a plate of chocolate and crackers, and water. She told us that there honestly is a big difference between the cheapest tasting and the second tasting, so we decided to go for the second option.
To start our tasting, we went up to the second floor and had the whole room to ourselves. We admired the simple and modern black decor by the side of the table and waited for our wines.
The second level of tasting includes a house white, house red, white port, ruby port, and tawny port. Our hostess told us to drink the regular white wine first, then the regular red wine, and follow those with the white port, ruby port, and end with the tawny port. We nibbled on milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and crackers in between each tasting.
Let’s start with the regular wines, which were delicious. I could sip on that white all summer long. Hubster loved the red, of course. We then sipped on the ports. I prefer the white port to the reds, but hubby preferred the red, of course. Our hostess brought us over an extra ruby, which was a vintage ruby, and I think it topped the list of ports we tried! Ah, what a fun experience. We didn’t opt for the olive oil tasting, but you can enjoy the 100% biological olive oil tastings here as well.
We had a great time and loved the awesome view from the tasting room. If you’re looking for an unpretentious, fun, and authentic port tasting experience, definitely check out Kopke!
The Kopke service is fantastic. Our server took the time to explain the various ports to us and even blessed us with an extra glass! She educated us on the order to drink the wines, which chocolates pair well, and helped us have a great port tasting experience. Her friendly demeanor and eagerness to educate us allowed us to feel comfortable quickly. You can take pictures during your time here, and I’d definitely recommend buying a bottle of Kopke port on your way out!