When I was a young girl first starting to read period novels, I was always intrigued at the British practice of the men retiring to their port after dinner leaving the women to chit-chat amongst themselves. It wasn’t until decades later that I would be introduced to port. Speedy did that. He came home with a bottle of port one day wondering why it was more expensive than other red wines.
Port is not just a red wine. Port originates from Portugal and is a fortified red wine. Fortified? Yes, with brandy — to stop fermentation, to allow residual sugar and to boost alcohol content. The bottle of Dow’s fine tawny port in the photo contained 19% alcohol — way, way higher than the usual 11% to 13% alcohol content of most red wines.
We love the sweetness of port (personally, I am not a fan of dry wines) but because port is not inexpensive, we reserve them for special occasions. A special occasion took place a couple of days ago, Speedy opened a bottle of port (after two bottles of red wine) and it was gone even before dinner was served.