Simply put, Port wine, often called simply “port,” is a Portuguese fortified wine. In Portuguese, it is called Vinho do Porto or Porto. Port wine is typically a sweet red wine that is often served with dessert. Port wine is made from grapes grown in the Douro region of Portugal. For the wine to be called port, it must be fortified: this is done by adding a grape spirit called Aguardente, which stops the fermentation of the grapes. Because fermentation is the changing of sugar to alcohol, this stop of fermentation causes the wine to remain sweeter, and because the spirit is more alcoholic than the wine at this stage, it also boosts the alcohol content. Port is traditionally stored and aged in barrels.

Tawny Port
Tawny ports are wines, made from red grapes, that are aged in wooden barrels, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result, they gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen imparts "nutty" flavours to the wine, which is blended to match the house style. Tawny ports are sweet or medium dry and typically consumed as a dessert wine. When a port is described as tawny, without an indication of age, it is a basic blend of wood aged port that has spent at least two years in barrels. Above this are tawny with an indication of age which represent a blend of several vintages, with the nominal years "in wood" stated on the label. The official categories are 10, 20, 30 and over 40 years. The categories indicate a target age profile for the ports, not their actual ages, though many people mistakenly believe that the categories indicate the minimum average ages of the blends. It is also possible to produce an aged white port in the manner of a tawny, with a number of shippers now marketing aged white ports. 

Vintage Port
Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a declared vintage year. Not every year is declared a vintage in the Douro. The decision on whether to declare a vintage is made in the spring of the second year following the harvest. The port industry is one where reputations are hard won and easily lost, so the decision is never taken lightly. More conventional Port Houses will declare, on average, about three times a decade. While it is by far the most renowned type of port, from a volume and revenue standpoint, vintage port actually makes up only a small percentage of the production of most Houses. Vintage ports are aged in barrels for a maximum of two and a half years before bottling, and generally require another ten to forty years of aging in the bottle before reaching what is considered a proper drinking age. Since they are aged in barrels for only a short time, they retain their dark ruby colour and fresh fruit flavours. Particularly fine vintage ports can continue to gain complexity and drink wonderfully for many decades after they were bottled. Vintage Port should be decanted (see video) before serving.

Ruby Port
Ruby port is the cheapest and most extensively produced type of port. After fermentation, it is stored in tanks made of concrete or stainless steel to prevent oxidative aging and preserve its rich claret colour. The wine is usually blended to match the style of the brand to which it is to be sold. The wine is fined and cold filtered before bottling and does not generally improve with age.

White Port
White port is made from white grapes and can be made in a wide variety of styles. Ordinary white ports make an excellent basis for a cocktail while those of greater age are best served chilled on their own. There are a range of styles of white port, from dry to very sweet. Some white ports are matured in wood for long periods and darken slightly in colour.

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV)
Late bottled vintage (often referred to simply as LBV) was originally wine that had been destined for bottling as vintage port, but because of lack of demand was left in the barrel for longer than had been planned.
LBV is intended to provide some of the experience of drinking a vintage port but without the need for lengthy bottle aging. To a limited extent it succeeds, as the extra years of oxidative aging in barrel does mature the wine more quickly.
Typically ready to drink when released, LBV ports are the product of a single year's harvest and tend to be lighter bodied than a vintage port.

Crusted Port
Crusted Port is usually a blend of port wine from several vintages. Unlike vintage port, which has to be sourced from grapes from a single vintage, crusted port affords the port blender the opportunity to make best use of the varying characteristics of different vintages. Crusted port is bottled unfiltered, and sealed with a driven cork. Like vintage port it needs to be decanted (see video) before drinking. The date on a crusted port bottle refers to the bottling date, not the year the grapes were grown.

Crusted port is required to be aged in bottle for at least three years before it is released to the market.

Reserve or Vintage Character Port
Reserve port is a premium ruby port approved by the IVDP's tasting panel, the Câmara de Provadores. In 2002 the IVDP prohibited the use of the term "Vintage Character", as the wine had neither a single vintage (usually being a blend of several vintages of ruby port) nor the typical character of vintage port.

Rose Port
Rose port is a very recent variation on the market, first released in 2008 by Poças and by Croft, part of the Taylor Fladgate Partnership. It is technically a ruby port, but fermented in a similar manner to a rosé wine, with a limited exposure to the grape skins, thus creating the rose colour. It has enjoyed little critical acclaim.

Colheita Port
A tawny port from a single vintage is called Colheitas. Instead of an indication of age (10, 20...) the actual vintage year is mentioned. However, they should not be confused with vintage port (see below): whereas a vintage port will have been bottled about 18 months after being harvested and will continue to mature, a Colheita may have spent 20 or more years in wooden barrels before being bottled and sold. A number of white Colheitas have also been produced.

Garrafeira Port
Garrafeira is an unusual and rare intermediate vintage dated style of port made from the grapes of a single harvest that combines the oxidative maturation of years in wood with further reductive maturation in large glass demijohns. It is required that wines spend some time in wood, usually between three and six years, followed by at least a further eight years in glass, before bottling. Some connoisseurs describe Garrafeira as having a slight taste of bacon.

Liqueur Port
Liqueur Port is a popular product to Australia and is usually the result when a portion of each harvest is set aside to be aged in cellars for many years. Assembled from stocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Pedro of various vintages, which have been matured in small old oak barrels and fortified with brandy spirit, to construct a rich and complex fortified wine.
The youngest component should be at least twelve years old. The wine is light tawny in colour with the nose showing a rich, Rancio character. The palate is smooth and richly satisfying.
Two popular examples are Seppelt Para Liqueur Port from the Grampians in Victoria and Pirramimma from the McLaren Vale in South Australia.

Liqueur Muscat
A Liqueur Muscat is a fortified wine made in Australia from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains or Muscadelle grapes. The wine is sweet, dark, highly alcoholic wine that has some similarities to Madeira and Malaga. The grape is most commonly produced in Victoria in the wine regions of Rutherglen and Glenrowan. Liqueur Muscat essentially starts out being a late harvest wine with the grapes allowed to stay on the vine till they are in a partially raisined state. The grapes are then pressed and go through partial fermentation where it is halted by the addition grape spirits.

The wine is then aged in oak in a system resembling the Sherry solera system. Similar to Madeira, the wines are often exposed to high temperatures.