About Fortified Wines

A fortified wine is one in which a neutral alcoholic spirit or grape brandy has been added to increase the alcoholic level. Famous examples include port, sherry and vermouth.

When the brandy or neutral spirit is added, alcohol increased from 14% to a level between 18% to 20%, taking them out of the table wine category. Fortified wines in many countries are thus taxed at a higher rate than table wines.

Top Picks for Fortified Wines

Robledo NV Mamma Marias White Port Sauvignon Blanc
94 points
$42
Golden amber color. Interesting, inviting aromas of hay, dried fruits, toasted nuts, and toffee with a round, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, subtle, very long dried apricot, salted butterscotch, caramel corn, and peppermint finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. An endless white port to delight your guest’s taste buds; a must-try.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Fortified Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best US Fortified Wine
Coyote Moon Vineyards 2013 Perpetua Port-Style New York State
94 points
$65
Dark black garnet color. Fruity aroma of table grapes with a lightly tannic, lively, sweet medium-to-full body and a hot, medium-long raisin and chocolate, spice cake, leather and mint, and sweet pea blossom finish with well-integrated tannins. A distinctive port that makes exceptional use of the Marquette grape.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Fortified Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best US Fortified Wine
Savory & James NV Fine Ruby Porto Portugal
90 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Interesting, nutty aromas of caramelized peanuts, caramel covered popcorn, and blackberry jam with a slightly chewy, lively, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-length sweet tarragon and milk chocolate finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A complex and nutty ruby port that over-performs for the category.
90 points $10.99 Best Buy
Savory & James NV Fine Tawny Porto Portugal
89 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Copper color. Spicy aromas of leather wallet, ripe forest berries, fresh foraged herbs, and spiced orange tea with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long bread pudding with caramel sauce, dried dates and figs, and eucalyptus finish with light oak. A lip-smacking, fruity tawny Porto for after dinner, cocktails, or cheese pairings.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Savory & James NV Deluxe Medium Amontillado Sherry Jerez
89 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Mahogany brown color. Toasty, yeasty aromas of raisin, panettone, cocoa powder, and almond meal and fresh baked croissant with a satiny, racy, off-dry medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long dried figs and dates, chocolate batter, and anisette biscotti finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. A rich and chocolatey Amontillado with singing acidity.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Porto Meneres NV Porto Fine White Douro
88 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Steely amber color. Spicy, fruity aromas of peach candies, sponge cake, birch forest, and coriander with a glycerous, vibrant, sweet medium body and a peppery, delightful, medium-length orange marmalade, orange blossom, apricot-almond tea cake, and clove finish with heavy oak. A zesty white port that will make for great porto-tonicos and cocktail play.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
White Pine 2016 Mirage Reserve Chambourcin
88 points
$15.99
Bright dark violet color. Aromas of mulberry, bramble, and wild mint with a round, lively, sweet medium body and a warming, compelling, relaxed fruitcake, chocolate covered butterscotch, and English toffee finish with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A port-style wine for delicious dessert pairings.
88 points $15.99
Wollersheim 2014 White Port American
88 points
$22
Gold color. Floral, exotic aromas of honeysuckle, nectarine, ripe melon, and vanilla taffy with a round, vibrant, very sweet medium-full body and a peppery, appealing, medium-length ginger and asian pear, white pepper, caramelized pears, and passion fruit finish with medium, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A tropical white port for cocktails, desserts, and casual sipping.
Augusta Winery 2013 Estate Bottled Vintage Port Chambourcin
87 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Dark brown brick red color. Aromas of raisin bread, toasted coconut, molasses, spicy mexican hot chocolate, cola, salted nuts, and violet with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a peppery, delightful, medium-length carob cookies, cinnamon coffee cake, dried dark fruit, and bourbon barrel finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A very bright and spicy port-style wine with astounding acidity; cellar for several more years.
87 points $13.99 Best Buy
Diamondback Vineyards 2012 Bella Forte Gold Vineyard Rogue Valley
87 points
$60
Black ruby color. Oaky aromas of peppercorns, latex, rosebush, rhubarb, serrano ham, dill, and blackberry jam with a coarse, vibrant, fruity sweet medium body and a hot, stimulating, medium-long raspberry liqueur and bacon jam finish with chalky tannins and heavy oak. A digestif-like port-style wine with intense oak and concentrated fruit.