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The Birthday Present You Always Wanted

It is an old tradition among the wealthy British upper classes to give a newborn child a “pipe” (about sixty-one cases!) of Port from the newborn’s birth year. In the past, vintage Port and single quinta vintage Port would generally be given. These would be shipped in cask to a British wine merchant who would bottle the Port, after which it would be stored in the parents’ cellar. By the time the child was old enough to drink, he or she would have a lifetime supply of perfectly matured Port ready to drink. Today Port is bottled in Portugal, not Britain, but (for the U.K.’s aristocratic classes) the tradition remains essentially the same.

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