Port Is a Delicious Elixir for the Holiday Season

’Tis the season to splurge … on port.

Spreading good cheer is high on everyone’s holiday list—as is finding that perfect gift. For wine and spirits enthusiasts, this can be a challenge in a tight economy. But if you’re willing to take a chance, a modestly priced bottle of port will make a lasting impression.

If you’re not yet hip to this delicious elixir, well, you’ve been missing out. A fortified wine produced in the Douro River Valley of Portugal, port is spunky and sweet, with low acidity and tannins. And at 20-percent alcohol by volume (table wine is about 13 percent), it sits well after a hearty meal in place of a heavy dessert. A really good port has a rich, spicy flavor and a smooth taste. There’s a wide range of ages and blends, all with their own unique appeal.

For the budget-conscious, Taylor Fladgate LBV 2003 is a value buy at $19.99. At $17.99, Cockburn’s Special Reserve goes down like a higher-end, vintage port—much of that due to its careful blending of young and mature wines, resulting in rounder flavor and a seductive, velvety feel. For double your money, the oaky-fruity Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny port is liquid luxury.

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