Isn’t port just something old white men in old stuffy suits drink?
If that’s the image, it’s a shame because there’s some real joy to be found with port.
First off: port is a fortified wine. With port, you start with a blend of grapes into a wine base. Then midway through fermentation, a spirit is added. That’s your starting point. What happens next depends on maturation.
Ruby port is as a young wine. The ageing is capped at three years in barrel/vat and are an entry-level point for exploration. These can be a blend of multiple vintages, like non-vintage sparkling wine.
Vintage port is - like sparkling wine - wine that’s from a single harvest. Only the best years get a vintage declared so you won’t see them all the time. They spend two years in wood then get bottled, where the main bulk of the ageing is expected to happen. They last for decades and because of that are some of the pricier ones. It also makes them good wines to buy for birth year wines as they’re more reliable and cheaper than big investments in Bordeaux or other classic investment pieces.
Late-bottled vintage ports (LBV) are also made from single vintages but age for up to six years in barrel. Unlike vintage, they aren’t expected to age as well in bottle. As a result, you get a lighter wine and one you can drink younger.
The other type of port is tawny port. These are aged in smaller barrels, meaning they oxidise quicker (and give them the tawny colour). As these are already oxidised, they last much longer than ruby ports. That means you can keep them for weeks or even months.