If you're a wine enthusiast, here's something new to add to your repertoire: Port. This wine traditionally comes from Portugal and is normally red with a sweet or semi-sweet taste. It has a higher alcohol content than most other wines (18 to 22 percent) and is fortified with a brandy-type liquor. It's a nice after dinner treat, especially when served with dark fruits (think dried cherries) and dark chocolate. Since it's fortified with liquor, it has a longer shelf life than most wines (weeks, not days), which is great because this wine should be enjoyed in small quantities (about 2 to 4 ounces per serving) due to its strong taste and high alcohol content.
I was introduced to Port at a wine tasting a few months ago. Since then, I've identified two affordable brands (less than $15) that can introduce you to the wonderful world of Port. One bottle will yield many servings, so it can also be a great deal in these tough economic times.
I received a bottle of Fonseca as a birthday present this year. Fonseca reminds me of raisins and spicy dark fruit. It's also great with chocolate and dried fruits.
I'm still learning about Port. There are other varieties: white, tawny, semi-sweet. There are also varieties that come from countries other than Portugal. And, of course, there are varieties with vintages that have been aged for a long time and cost more money.
I'm just a beginner, so I'm encouraging those of you who enjoy wine to consider serving yourself a (small) glass of Port with dessert. There are even special smaller wine glasses for Port. (Note to self: I need one.)