Kopke is the oldest brand of Port, having been established by German diplomat Cristiano Kopke in 1638. But this feels like a thoroughly modern idea: Put a lot of this dessert wine in half-bottles, primarily the nonvintage Ruby and Tawny Ports ($13 each). That makes for easy sampling and storage (they last for weeks) but also a chance to check out the differences. The Ruby is younger, sweeter, spends less time in oak and is the color of its name. The Tawny is browner, nuttier, more figgy and complex. Enjoy them with a caramel dessert or salty cheese, or even a wintry stew.

Available at Byerly's and Lunds, Century, Oaks Wine & Spirits, On the Rocks, the Wine Shop, Wayzata muni and Zipp's.

Bill Ward