Fairbanks California Port Review (2023)

Fairbanks California Port Featured

What Kind of Wine Is Fairbanks California Port?

Fairbanks California Port is a medium-to-full-bodied sweet red wine from California. As an American Port, the wine shows intense dark fruit aromas and flavors and a certain level of leather, clove, and baking spice notes. The acidity is a bit low, while the finish is medium but pleasant. There is a balance to be found between sweetness and freshness and a length of flavors.

Port wine is a fortified wine native to Portugal, where it’s produced in the Douro Valley. For the most part, it’s a sweet wine served after dinner as a dessert or on special occasions. There are many categories and qualities levels of Port, however. As such, when you’re shopping for Port wine, finding the perfect one might be confusing.

Port wines are distinguished by two main categories: Ruby, which matures in bottle, and Tawny, which ages in wooden barrels. Fairbanks California Port is a Tawny Port, meaning that it is made from the same grapes as Ruby but has matured in 600-liter wooden barrels. The types of Tawny Port are in ascending order of quality: Tawny, Tawny Reserva, Tawny with Age Indication. As a Tawny Port, Fairbanks California Port has complex aromas with hints of nuts and wood.

Fairbanks California Port Review

  • Winery — Fairbanks
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Port
  • Aroma — Lavender, Plum, Cherry, Fig, Raisin, Clove, Leather, Almond, Vanilla Spice
  • Grapes — Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah
  • Taste — Blackberry, Raspberry, Chocolate, Caramel, Molasses, Dried Prunes, Walnut, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 18%
  • Sugar — Sweet
  • Pairing — Smoky Meats, Chocolate, Washed-rind Cheeses, Salted Nuts

Fairbanks California Port is an interesting wine choice. It encompasses all of the staple Port characteristics, such as pronounced dark fruit notes and tertiary elements, and has a fine balance between sweet and dryness, too. But it’s not impressive. That said, it’s still a dynamic and perfect wine to drink in small amounts after dinner. And if you chill it a bit, it tastes even better! So, to conclude, Fairbanks California Port is definitely good, almost excellent. I recommend it to anyone looking for a savory and fruit-forward Port.

Overall Rating: 3.5

  • Rich, Plush Palate
  • Full-bodied Character
  • Smooth Texture
  • Fine-grained Tannins
  • Delicious
  • Slightly Bitter At Times

Tasting Notes

Even though it’s a humble Tawny Port, Fairbanks California Port wine has a complicated tasting profile. Unmistakable scents of lavender, plum, and almond define the nose as also a touch of leather. On the palate, the wine is sweet with black fruit flavors and pronounced chocolate and walnut tastes. Baking spice notes are discernible everywhere, in both the nose and the mouth, too. The acidity is quiet, while the finish is medium and lengthy, packed with charred wood elements.


Due to oxidation, the Fairbanks California Port appearance is light in color with brown tones. On top of that, the wine’s core is semi-opaque and, after a few swirls, an assortment of amber hues develop on the sides, granting dynamism and boldness. The tears of the wine are short and dense, as expected, due to the wine’s high alcohol content. Overall, Fairbanks California Port has a classic Tawny Port look.


The Fairbanks California Port aromatic bouquet is brimming with scents of lavender, plum, and cherry. Expect to find notes of fig and raisin, too, as well as an intense fragrance of leather and clove. But what defines Fairbanks California Port’s nose is the aroma of almond. Tawny Ports are renowned for having pronounced nutty aromas, and Fairbanks California Port is no exception to the rule. Touches of vanilla are also present, offering a spicy sensation.


Complex flavors mark Fairbanks California Port’s palate. The wine begins with juicy, ripe blackberry and raspberry tastes. Soon after, dried prunes and cinnamon spice tastes follow. The syrupy texture is complemented by notes of caramel, molasses, and characteristic chocolate. The taste is completed by walnut flavors, which are a fundamental component of Tawny Port wines.

What’s more, the acidity is muted for the most part, although it does offer a refreshing and tickling sensation. As to the tannins, they are almost fine-grained and velvety. Only a tiny bit of astringency can be traced. Fairbanks California Port has a fulfilling flavor profile. As such, the wine is delicious and easy-to-sip!


Fairbanks California Port has a medium to good length finish. In general, the aftertaste is pleasant, without bitterness. Some blackberry and cherry notes linger, but nothing extraordinary. It’s a really tight, fruity, and satisfying finish, distinctive of a Tawny Port.


Fairbanks California Port is a solid Port wine. With flavors of nuts and black fruits, the wine is a delight to drink. The sweetness is not overbearing, and even if the acidity is not intense, it does offer a certain freshness. Also, the abundant tertiary notes are incredible and add complexity to the wine’s palate. Be sure to check Fairbanks California Port out, then, even if you are not a die-hard Port fan.

Fairbanks California Port Food Pairing

To enjoy Fairbanks California Port to the maximum, pair it with smoky, barbecued meats. There is nothing better than grilling some T-bone steaks and washing them down with a medium-to-full-bodied Port. Or try to serve the wine with dark chocolate or salted nuts. On that note, keep in mind that chocolate makes one of the best food pairings with Ports. And there’s a good reason for that. When paired together, Port and chocolate make a complex, mellow, and mouthwatering combination. You have to be careful what chocolate you pair with Fairbanks California Port, though. Avoid serving this Port with too-sweet a chocolate dessert, as you will overwhelm your palate with sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Fairbanks California Port?

Fairbanks California Port is a product of Fairbanks Wine, located in California, United States. Fairbanks aim to produce easy-going sippers of full flavors, especially enjoyable during a delicious meal. Fairbanks Wine belongs to E. & J. Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery and one of the largest exporters of California wine in the United States.

How Is Fairbanks California Port Made?

The procedure of producing Port wine is very complex. Once alcohol reaches 5-9%, the fermentation is stopped, then alcohol fortification takes place to create a sweet wine. In general, the fermentation lasts up to 36 hours. To create the level of tannins and color of a Port, distinctive techniques are implemented, unlike in the standard red wine production.

The incredible thing about Port is that not only, according to viticulture, it is the first wine style ever created in the world, but that many of the original creation techniques are still the same today. The principal method used in the production of Port is foot treading or foot extraction. The foot treading takes place in shallow granite troughs, called laganes. Once fermentation starts, treading stops as the cap is punched down to extract colors and tannins.

To produce Fairbanks California Port, however, an auto-vinification method is implemented. The crushed grapes are placed into stainless steel sealed vats and the rising pressure of the carbon dioxide, given off by the fermentation, pushes the juice up through some pipes into a holding tank. When the pressure of the carbon dioxide reaches a set level, a valve is released, and the wine in the holding tank floods down over the cap. The valve resets and the process starts again. Every cycle completes in 20 minutes. The amount of contact between the skins and the grape juice is high, resulting in richly flavored wines.

Where Is Fairbanks California Port Made?

Fairbanks California Port is made in California, the center of the American wine industry. Grapevines in California receive maximum sunlight, as combinations of warm, bright sun and cooling influences from the Atlantic Ocean define the region. Therefore, California is known for producing fruity wines with concentrated and plush flavors.

California winemakers have introduced a new wine-making style, challenging the European tradition. For example, in California, the emphasis falls on the fruitiness of the wines but not on the complexity. Also, the Mediterranean climate showers the grapevines with a constant burst of intense summer sunshine leading to grapes with increased flavors and sugar levels. On the other hand, the Atlantic Ocean cools the vines from the heat due to the cooling influences and fog.

How to Serve Fairbanks California Port?

There’s only one way to serve Fairbanks California Port, and that’s just a bit below room temperature (60-64°F or 15-17°C). Bear in mind that if you consume a high-alcohol wine, such as Fairbanks California Port, too warm, you’re going to get an unpleasant burning sensation. A good rule of thumb for serving Port wine is to refrigerate the bottle 15 to 30 minutes before opening it to prevent that burning feeling.

As to the glassware, the pleasure of Port comes from being able to experience its charming aromas and black fruit flavors. Overall, avoid serving Port in cordial glasses, but instead opt for standard-sized white wine glasses or copita/sherry glasses. These enable wine fans to swirl and aerate the wine so that the color, aromas, and tastes can reach their full potential. Also, before you serve Port, make sure that the glasses have no lingering odors. Otherwise, they will interfere with the wine’s aromatics, resulting in an uninspiring beverage.

Furthermore, decanting Fairbanks California Port is perfect, as it will enhance the wine’s flavor profile. Vintages less than 40 years old, such as Fairbanks California Port, require decanting three hours before drinking. Strive to open the bottle before guests arrive. So, after finishing dinner, the wine will be ready to be enjoyed!

How Much Does Fairbanks California Port Cost?

Fairbanks California Port is priced very low. And it’s one of the most affordable fortified wines on the market. Fantastic for consumers looking for a weighty wine at an approachable price. Fairbanks California Port prices are roughly $8 per 750ml bottle. As such, wine enthusiasts can obtain the wine without spending too much. On that note, Fairbanks California Port makes a perfect house gift option, too. So, if you have a new neighbor, pay them a visit and welcome them to the neighborhood with a bottle of this Port!

How Long Does Fairbanks California Port Last?

As a general rule, young Ports, such as Fairbanks California Port, remain fresh for six to eight weeks. As such, aim to uncork and consume the wine as soon as you can. The longer it stays in the cabinet, the greater the decrease in its aromatic intensity will be. On top of that, Fairbanks California Port is bottled with a screw cap. Ports with a screw cap or a T-Cap cork do not benefit from additional aging. So, extended cellaring is not necessary. On the other hand, Ports with a driven cork are bottled very young and unfiltered and are intended for long-term storage and bottle-aging.

As a Port matures, the firm tannins and fruity flavors of youth give way to a velvety smoothness and mellow character. At the same time, the wine’s appearance changes as the initial red color slowly become paler, evolving into a subtle amber hue. If Fairbanks California Port matures for a long time, it will make this change. That said, the wine will also lose its freshness and brightness, unlike vintage, supreme-quality Ports.

How Many Calories Does Fairbanks California Port Have?

Considering how much alcohol and residual sugar a Port wine has, it’s no surprise that Fairbanks California Port calories amount is high. In 1 fluid ounce of the drink, there are 46 calories, equating to 368 calories per standard-sized white-wine glass. The calorie breakdown is 0 grams of fats, 7 grams of sodium, 32 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of protein, and at least 30 grams of total sugars. As a fortified wine, Fairbanks California Port is a high-calorie drink, and consequently, wine enthusiasts on a diet have to consume it in moderation. The amount of carbs in the wine is high, too, with consumers needing to consider this before purchasing this Port.

As expected, the Fairbanks California Port alcohol content is high, too, sitting at 18%, a typical alcoholic concentration for fortified wine. Also, remember that unless designated on the label, wines are not vegan. During wine-making, wines are clarified through fining, where the most commonly fining agents are animal-based. Vegans, consequently, must consider this before sipping Fairbanks California Port.


Fairbanks California Port is an interesting wine choice. It encompasses all of the staple Port characteristics, such as pronounced dark fruit notes and tertiary elements, and has a fine balance between sweet and dryness, too. But it’s not impressive. That said, it’s still a dynamic and perfect wine to drink in small amounts after dinner. And if you chill it a bit, it tastes even better! So, to conclude, Fairbanks California Port is definitely good, almost excellent. I recommend it to anyone looking for a savory and fruit-forward Port.

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