Why are Port glasses so small?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Port glasses are rather small, but I would think that a big wine like Port would call for a big wineglass. What are your thoughts on the correct glass for Port, particularly Vintage Port?

—Steven R., Salt Lake City

Dear Steven,

Any good wineglass will do. I use my all-purpose red wineglasses. Because of Port's high alcohol content, typically smaller-than-normal pours are appropriate, and that’s why Port-specific glasses tend to be on the small side.

I like my Ports cooler than room temperature, and paired with nuts, a firm blue cheese and a good cigar. And here’s a tip: Tradition dictates that a bottle or decanter of Port always be passed to the left.

—Dr. Vinny

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