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Dear Dr. Vinny,

When I was younger, about 25 years ago, my father took us to a Chinese restaurant that put wine on our ice cream. Do you have any idea what kind of wine it was? I’m thinking a claret. Did they do something to thicken it or just serve it as is?

—Debbie, Lyndhurst, N.J.

Dear Debbie,

I’m going to guess that was a Port, a sweet, thick fortified wine that some people think makes a pretty good Wine of the Year. I’ve also seen that done with Sherry, another wine that often has some distilled spirits added to it, making it fortified, and is also a little thicker than most. I’d be surprised if it were a claret—an old nickname for red Bordeaux wines—since a dry red and a sweet ice cream might not be such a good match.

They probably just poured the Port directly on the ice cream—I’ve seen that done in some old-school steak houses—but it’s certainly possible they reduced it on the stove to make a thicker sauce, too, especially if they were serving it to children.

The Port/ice cream combo is terrific—it’s great on vanilla ice cream and equally great on chocolate ice cream.

—Dr. Vinny

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