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When I lived in San Francisco, it was easy to buy good port, with lots of options. Much of it came from California. But, here in the provinces, the city liquor stores don’t carry port. If the grocery stores have it, it is almost always cheap brands that are not safe for septic tanks, let alone for drinking.

Trader Joe’s has come to the rescue with an Evenus port in half bottles, at $9.99. I suspect that this was bottled especially for Trader Joe’s. Evenus usually labels their ports with the type of grape (for example, syrah, or zinfandel) and a year. This port is labeled “Port Dessert Wine,” as though it’s meant for a market in which people don’t really know what port is, or even that it’s a dessert wine. No matter. It’s a superb little bottle of port.

Sometimes when I’m admiring the recipes and food photos at the New York Times web site, I marvel at how many dessert recipes there are. Do people really make, and eat, so many desserts? Here at the abbey, pies and cakes and pastries are rare. One way of cutting down on dessert consumption is to always keep a good stock of dark chocolates for after dinner. Nothing goes better with chocolate than a wee glass of port. Calories saved!

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