This is a discussion on Port vs Sherry within the Food, Wine, & Spirits Forum forums, part of the Non Cigar Related Specialty Forums category; Both are " Dessert wines".
What the difference between them ?...
Sherry is wine that has intentionally been oxidized. It has some of the same flavors you'd get from leaving a regular bottle of wine sit open on the counter for a few weeks. You can buy both dry sherry and sweet sherry (cream sherry) and a few variations in between. It's traditionally made in a small region in Spain. Makes for a great cooking wine, I find it pretty similar to Marsala and have substituted one for the other in a pinch.
Port is entirely different. Made in Portugal, there are again tons of varieties, even including white ports I believe. Vintage ports are supposed to be the best, though not every year produces a crop good enough for a vintage designation. Vintage ports are the ones that typically age for 10+ years, everything that doesn't specifically say 'vintage porto' is not vintage and does not typically age long.
The biggest difference is that sherry is white, port is red (usually), and the oxidation step in making sherry imparts very unique flavors. They're both acquired tastes, though I've come across a lot more people who like port than sherry.
Without typing too much; sherry & sherry are not necessarily a dessert wines.
a Mark C mentioned, sherry is intentionally oxidized, and I do not think it is fortified. Port is fortified with brandy made from the same grapes. Sherry is similar to Madeira as it heated to attain it's flavor and keep it more stable.
Sherry and madeira go best with cigars more than port.
Do you speak Campagnolo - F1- Alfa Romeo - IWC - Robiola?
I really prefer port. There are tons of different varieties to sample to find the one best for you. There is a blog I've visited, www.fortheloveofport.com, that has a lot of good information, including some basic FAQs for newbies.