Port Is a Welcome Guest at Cocktail Parties

Ask  me about port and I’ll tell you I love it. I have fond memories of the sumptuous flavors of a well-aged vintage port, and, even more so, the delicate, subtle pleasures of a 20-year-old tawny. Alas, these delights reside mostly in the past. I almost never drink port anymore.

The urge for a nice after-dinner glass of port or Cognac has largely faded, overcome by the diminished stamina of middle age and the desire to be not only awake and productive the following morning, but eager as well. Port is a fortified wine, after all. You may not taste the 20 percent alcohol in a well-balanced version, but it can quickly catch up with you.

Still, when I put my mind to it, the cinnamon-sweet, nutmeg-spice notes of a 20-year tawny come right back to life. It makes me think …

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