5 Great Port Wines To Enjoy This Holiday Season (Or Whenever)

It’s the perfect time to get on board with this British and Portuguese fortified wine, which also happens to make a great holiday gift.

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Port wine is synonymous with the holidays in England — the perfect fireside sipper after a soul-filling roast. So how did a fortified wine for the Douro Valley in Portugal become an English obsession? During their wars with France in the early 1700s, the British were forced to forgo claret from Bordeaux, and as a replacement started importing a sweet red wine from the town of Oporto (from whence Port gets its name). To keep it from spoiling in transit, the wine was stabilized with the addition of brandy.

Port wine is best enjoyed in a small, delicate glass, with a little dark chocolate or roasted nuts and cheeses — and above all, it is to be savored rather than swilled. Give it as a host gift, and you’ll not only stand out from the crowd, but you’ll be giving a bottle that will likely last into 2022. However you choose to enjoy it, Port is a noble drink with a rich history that deserves a place in your holiday repertoire. Here, with the help of some beverage experts, are a few excellent bottles of Port wine — and one bottle Madeira, a close Port cousin — to seek out.

BONUS: One great bottle of Madeira

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