Archive for July, 2015

Madeira and the 4th of July revisited: More about America’s “First and Most Patriotic Wine”

July 3, 2015

written by Michael Oudyn

“I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira.”
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography



The 4th of July is here and so I once again suggest that we patriotic Americans celebrate our birthday with a glass of Madeira, “America’s first” and ” greatest patriotic” wine. Last 4th of July I wrote about Madeira‘s relation to Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock,  the Constitutional Convention, the Louisiana Purchase, etc.

Since then more curious Founding Fathers/Madeira lore has come my way. Here is some of it.

This post’s lead quote comes notorious Madeira lover Benjamin Franklin who was said to have had more than a thousand bottles of Madeira in his private stash. In his Autobiography Franklin relates how “three common flies…that had been drowned in the Madeira bottle…fell into the first glass (of Madeira)” that was being poured at a friend’s house. Having heard that “drowned flies were capable of being revived by the sun” world-renowned scientist Franklin set up an impromptu experiment. When (more…)