THE 'PORT TONGS' RITUAL
At Quinta do Noval, we regularly carry out the “Port Tongs” ritual. The process is used to uncork old bottles of Vintage Port whose corks may have deteriorated over the years from the effects of sugar and alcohol.
The tradition involves clamping red-hot tongs around the neck of the bottle, just below the bottom of the cork, for 30 seconds, and then applying an ice-cube immediately, while still holding the neck. The sudden change in temperature causes the neck to break cleanly off without leaving any shards, bringing the cork away with it.