Madeira wine dating from 1796 and 1820s found in a sealed compartment in the wine cellar of the Liberty Hall Museum in New Jersey will be auctioned in December at Christie’s in New York.
The discovery of the antique Madeira wine stock was made in 2015 during a renovation when a plaster wall in the wine cellar of the house was removed
The precious Madeira stock may have been hidden to protect the precious liquor during the Prohibition era to prevent from destruction of the Madeira wine and other liquor by anti alcohol zealots during the 1930’s
As the wall in the cellar came down, it was revealed that behind there was Madeira wine from 1796 and from the 1820s found buried beneath piles of straw.
The discovery represents one of the largest known early collections of Madeira in the United States, and one of the most extensive in the world.
According to historical accounts, America’s original 13 colonies imported about 95 per cent of wine produced on the Portuguese islands of Madeira, which was a popular beverage in colonial America and the early United States, chiefly because it was easy to ship and it lasted.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were noted collectors, as was Chief Justice John Marshall, and Madeira was used to toast both the Declaration of Independence and the inauguration of George Washington.
On 7 December in New York, Christie’s will auction an offering from this historic collection, highlighted by a selection of “demijohns”, typical Portuguese style “Garrafões” .
As stated by the experts the taste of the more that 200 year Madeira wine is superb thanks to the quality of the Portuguese corks.
The unique Madeira was re-corked in October this year in partnership Portuguese Cork Association in preparation for the year end auction .