What wine did they toast with on July 4th?

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain with a toast of Madeira wine. This particular brand of wine was selected to symbolize liberty and democracy since it used to be very expensive and rare. In fact, Madeira had already been associated with the American Revolution because it was one of the few foreign wines that could be imported legally into the British colonies. Today, many Americans enjoy a toast to freedom with a glass of Madeira wine to commemorate the momentous occasion of Independence Day. Madeira is a fortified wine produced in the southern tip of Portugal. The wine is fruity with a dry finish and is often served chilled or over ice.

Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is a type of fortified wine produced from various grapes, including white, black, and red. It is then heated and stored in oak casks to create a unique flavor profile.[1] The finished product is a sweet and fruity wine with a rich amber color. Madeira is often relished as an after-dinner drink and pairs well with desserts or cheeses.

History of Madeira Wine

Made in French Polynesia, Madeira wine is a fortified wine made in Madeira. The wine has a long and rich history, dating back to the 15th century[2]. The Madeira Islands were an essential stopover for ships traveling to and from the New World, and the wine was used as a preservative to conserve food on long journeys. Madeira wine became popular among the British aristocracy in the 18th century and is still a popular drink today.

Madeira Wine

Types of Madeira Wine

There are four different types of Madeira wine: white, rose, red, and black. The white and rose wines are manufactured from a blend of grapes that include Verdelho, Malvasia Bianca, and Boal. Moreover, the red wine is a mix of Tinta Negra Mole, Tinta Roriz, and Bastardo. The black wine is made from Tinta Negra Mole and Boal. The white wine’s initial sweetness fades quickly to a dry finish. The rose wine is also sweet but has a fruity aftertaste. The red wine is full-bodied with a fruity flavor and hints of chocolate and coffee. Finally, the black wine has the most complicated flavor profile with dark fruits, nuts, and caramel notes.

Independence Day traditions: fireworks, barbecues, and Madeira

The Fourth of July is regarded as one of America’s most significant holidays. Throughout the day, friends and family alike often join hands together to celebrate the holiday’s festivities. They savor picnics and barbecues, listen to patriotic music, and watch fireworks displays. Many people also drink Madeira wine on Independence Day. It is a type of fortified wine that originated on the Portuguese island of Madeira. It is produced from parched grapes in the sun before being crushed and fermented. Subsequently, it is fortified with brandy or distilled spirits. Madeira wine has a sweet taste and a strong aroma. It is often served as an after-dinner drink or as a dessert wine. In addition, it is also popularly used in cocktails. In a nutshell, Madeira wine is an ideal celebratory option for the Fourth of July.

How is Madeira wine made?

The wine is produced by heating the grape juice with sugar until it thickens. The mixture is then put into bottles and sealed. After some time, the carbon dioxide gas created by the fermentation process escapes the bottle, and the wine becomes more alcoholic.[3]The wine is made from the Malvasia grape. The wine is heated to a high temperature, and then it is cooled down quickly. This process helps to develop a unique flavor for the wine.

How to drink Madeira Wine?

Madeira wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif or after-dinner drink. Composed of fermented grape juice, it is heated to create a more refreshing alcoholic beverage. Over a period of time, the warmth continues to ration the yeast into wine, so the liquid does not continue to ferment. The aged wine is then stored in oak barrels for the shortest, the longest periods of time. It has been observed that Madeira wine pairs well with cheeses, especially the salty or nutty flavors.

How Madeira wine is associated with America’s Independence?

Madeira wine has been associated with America’s Independence Day since the time of nation’s independence from British colonialism. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified, and since then, Madeira wine has been a staple at patriotic celebrations. The wine’s popularity can be traced back to the times of the first American president, George Washington. In 1787, Washington hosted a dinner party to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution, and he served Madeira as the main course[4]. After the dinner, the wine became a big hit with his guests and soon became a popular drink at American gatherings. In recent times, it is considered as the perfect wine for celebrating America’s independence because it is festive and flavorful. It has a rich and complex flavor that pairs well with many spicy dishes. Furthermore, it has a high alcohol range, making it the perfect drink for warming up chilly celebrations.

Making a perfect Madeira wine toast for the 4th of July

Toast your independence this Fourth of July with a Madeira wine toast. This centuries-old wine is the perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday. Here’s how to make an ideal Madeira wine toast:

  1. Fill a glass halfway with Madeira
  2. Add a splash of seltzer or sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon.
  4. Toast “to America!”

Make a perfect Madeira wine cocktail for your 4th of July party!

Madeira is a great tipple to have on hand for the Independence Day holiday if you are looking to expand your building. The drink is easy to mix and is frequently adapted to drinkers’ preferences. Here’s the process to make a perfect Madeira wine cocktail for your Fourth of July party:

  1. Pour two ounces of Madeira wine into a shaker filled with ice[5].
  2. Add one ounce of peach schnapps and one ounce of cranberry juice.
  3. Shake well and strain into a glass.
  4. Spread a little fruit relish on it, and voila!

The Russian Czars and Madeira Wine

On this Day

The Fourth of July is a vital holiday in the United States, celebrated with fireworks, parades, and barbecues. It commemorated the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. One tradition that has continued throughout the years is toasting ‘America’s independence with Madeira wine. This fortified wine from Portugal was a favorite drink of many Founding Fathers, who considered it a perfect match for grilled meats and seafood.

April 13, 1743: On this day, the American president Thomas Jefferson was born. He was an ardent wine lover. He is considered by many to be one of America’s most significant wine collectors. Born in Shadwell, Virginia, Jefferson attended the College of William & Mary before studying law under George Wythe at Williamsburg. He served as a delegate in two Continental Congresses and as ambassador to France during the American Revolution. He was also secretary of state under George Washington and Vice President under John Adams[6].

February 7, 1802: James Busby was born on this day. He is believed to be the father of New Zealand wine. He was born in Scotland and trained as a doctor, but he is best known for his work promoting wine production in New Zealand. In 1833, Busby published a book titled, “A Treatise on the Culture and Manufacture of Wine in New South Wales,” which is one of the first books on viticulture to be published in Australia or New Zealand. He also recreated a crucial role in developing the country’s wine industry by bringing over vines from Europe and helping to establish the first wineries. Busby is commemorated with a statue in Wellington, New Zealand, and a National James Busby Collection at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington[7].

June 29, 1912: Emile Peynaud was born in Bordeaux, France. He was a wine historian and enologist. His work helped shape the modern wine industry. He was considered one of the most influential people in wine history.



  1. [1]  (books, 2010)
  2. books, L. (2010). Madeira Wine Paperback. Madeira Wine Paperback, 42.
  3. [2] Aguin‐Pombo, D., A. M. F. Aguiar, and D. Cravo. “First report of Scaphoideus titanus for Madeira Island.” EPPO Bulletin 50.3 (2020): 564-567.
  4. [3] (liddell, 2014)
  5. liddell, a. (2014). Madeira: The Mid-Atlantic Wine. hurst, 288.
  6. [4] Magarics, K. A. (2010, June 29). Madeira: A Revolutionary Way to Celebrate the Fourth of July. Wine Enthusiast. https://www.winemag.com/2010/06/29/madeira-a-revolutionary-way-to-celebrate-the-fourth-of-july/
  7. [5] (zarly, 1985)
  8. zarly, k. (1985). Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. kevin zarly, 304.
  9. [6] Wikipedia contributors. (2022c, May 16). Thomas Jefferson. Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson
  10. [7] Wikipedia contributors. (2022a, March 19). James Busby. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Busby

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