© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
According to Frank Schoonmaker's Encyclopedia of Wine, colonists rioted on the docks of Boston in 1768 -- five years before the Boston Tea Party -- when British customs officials sought to place a duty on a shipment of Madeira. "Madeira was used to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence," Schoonmaker reports, "and, in 1789, the inauguration of George Washington." Not unlike Sherry in general style, Madeira gains its unique character by being stored for years in hot rooms called estufas, a rough emulation of the treatment it used to receive on the decks of sailing ships crossing the broad Atlantic.
With a salute to our great history (and today's friendly relations with our European cousins), we started the holiday season the night before Christmas Eve with a warming glass of Malmsey, the sweetest of the Madeiras.
Henriques & Henriques non-vintage Malmsey 5 Years Madeira ($17.99)
FOOD MATCH: Served alone for after-dinner sipping, but might go nicely with nuts, dried fruit and cheese.
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