Yesterday was the much-anticipated day of Port tasting.  The area across the river from where we’re staying is crammed full of Port houses which open their doors for tastings and tours.  And so we made the journey over the bridge, in search of the perfect glass of sweet, rich Port.  Our first stop of the day was the Kopke port house.  We placed our orders from their extensive list, took a seat in the swanky, modern tasting lounge upstairs, and began to drool as the hostess placed four glasses on Port on the table before us, each paired with perfect little piece of chocolate.  Shane and I had ordered an inexpensive white Port and a much nicer glass of 1978 Port.  The white was ok, decent but not especially memorable.  But the ’78 was amazing – complex, full of so many different flavors, nutty, rich, balanced, gooooood.


From Kopke, we hit up a retail/tasting room down the street, then headed uphill to check out Taylor, then Croft.  Had a couple of good pours, but nothing like the ’78 we’d had earlier in the day.  Darn our expensive taste…  At Taylor, we got to tour the cellar – this cobwebby photo speaks perfectly to the age of the Port in some of these barrels:


The hours flew by as we sauntered from one Port house to another, enjoying the sun, the views from the terraces, and the company of good friends.




By late afternoon we were ready to give our feet and our taste buds a break, and so we seized the opportunity to hop on one of the nearby tour boats and spend an hour cruising down the river.  Porto continues to amaze me with the drama of its landscape and architecture.  And the colors…  Rich mustard yellows, brick reds, bright greens, and clear blues make up the fronts of the buildings that line the river.


La Verne made the comment that Porto is very “photogenic”.  I agree, as around every corner was another great shot to be taken.




We ended the day at a nice Port tasting room just a couple blocks from our hotel and spent a couple of hours enjoying a final glass of this local treat, paired with small plates of pistachios, cheese, pate, olives, and bread.  A perfect day of decadence and leisure.  And so the vacation continues…


  1. brieanne says:

    wow! i’ve been living vicariously through you on your trip…what a gorgeous time! makes me excited to save for a trip like that.

    technical question–what kind of lens are you using? not brand, but the specs on it…just curious…gorgeous pics!

  2. kellyschnell says:

    Thanks for following along! I’ve been using a Canon 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6. The more powerful zoom is really handy, although close up shots can be a little tricky. And it’s bulky – but totally worth lugging around Europe!