Monday night my husband and I sat on the couch wondering what to do. It was officially and actually his birthday, but somehow after the 10-course dinner that weekend, three gifts from me, and piles of well-wishing from friends, he still wasn't done being feted. (I attribute this to a childhood short on juicy presents and envelopes stuffed with cash on birthdays, but then that's just my spoiled Italian butt talking.) Then he lit up and shouted, "The port!"
Upstairs to the wine fridge. Downstairs to the glassware. Some rummaging through a gift bag... and out came a 40-year Taylor's Fladgate Port, two glasses, and a tub of Trader Joe's almond chocolate clusters.
I chose my spouse well, no?
We are not what you would call novice port drinkers. Our good friend Mr. Just Grapes gave us the bottle on my husband's 40th last year because it's one of the adult beverages we're known for loving. Rubies and tawnies are like dear, beloved friends we invite over year-around. The highlights: We served the 2003 Fonseca Vintage Port as one of the dessert wines at our wedding a couple of years ago... and it sort of took over the party after a certain point, in the best way possible. I still snicker at the tiny dots that stain my silk wedding dress. This fall we enjoyed a gorgeous 1986 tawny the night before Thanksgiving dinner, and then...this, the Full Monty of ports. It was incredibly rich, with loads of buttersotch, caramel, and hazelnut, with a silky smooth finish that lingered and lingered like only port can. Adding the chocolate with the almonds actually made me swoon. Since then we've also tried it chilled before dinner, and found it to be absolutely delish.
Excellent idea for a birthday, or really, any night you decide to take Alpana's advice and open something lovely...now-ish.