Home > History of Wine > Madeira Selections from American Wine Lists, 1851-1866

Madeira Selections from American Wine Lists, 1851-1866


I have come to delight in the names attributed to parcels of Madeira while conducting research for my various History of Madeira posts.  These names frequent auction advertisements and articles as well as wine lists.  In this post you will find such great names as Black Dwarf, Bramin, Judicial Wine, Magnum Bonum, Meteor, Robbin’s Coffin, and Wedding Wine.  It is interesting to chart how the early wine lists contained a significant proportion of Madeira which slowly decreased over the decades or how prices tracked between hotels.  However, what I find particularly intriguing is the ability to track the physical distribution of  parcels of Madeira in general.  Through auction advertisements and catalogs it is possible to track such movement specifically.  One could generate some interesting maps.  A few weeks ago I transcribed the Madeira selections from a range of American wine lists dating between 1851 to 1866.  I was fortunate to have a great conversation with Mannie Berk of The Rare Wine Company whose delight in the minute details of the history of wine also encompasses wine lists.  In transcribing the 12 lists below I have sought to maintain the original spelling so any transcription mistakes are solely my own.

American House. Image from NYPL.

American House. Image from NYPL.

American House[1]
Boston, Massachusetts
January 1, 1851
Madeira

  • Monteiros L. P., $1.50
  • Monteiros Reserve, $2.00
  • Newton, Gordon & Murdock’s old and delicate, $2.00
  • Blackburn’s Old London Particular, $2.00
  • Leacock’s Old London Particular, $2.00
  • Victoria, “March’s Wine”, $2.50
  • Wedding Madeira, $2.50
  • Judge Story’s M. M., imported in 1836, rich, $3.00
  • Old London Particular, very old, bottled for E. Johns & co., New Orleans, by Payne & Co., $3.50
  • Judge Story’s Judicial Wine, T. M., imported in 1829, $4.00
  • Donaldson’s #100, $4.00
  • Leacock’s East India, $4.00
  • Honorable Daniel Webster’s, very old, I, $4.00
Revere House. Image from NYPL.

Revere House. Image from NYPL.

Revere House[2]
Boston, Massachusetts
May 18, 1851
Madeira

  • Monteiros, $1.50
  • Newton, Gordon & Murdock, $2.00
  • Blackburn, $2.00
  • Monteiros Reserve, $2.00
  • Com. Nicholson’s D. M. Ship Columbus, 1844, $2.00
  • Archibald Park’s old and delicate, $2.00
  • Symington’s Old London Particular, $2.00
  • Com. Nicholson’s Serial, Ship Columbus, bottled in 1840, $2.00
  • Archibald Park’s extra Bual, $2.00
  • Archibald Park’s Superior, $2.00
  • Dornellos Vasconcellos Sercial, $2.50
  • Symington’s extra choice old London Particular, $2.50
  • Leacock’s Old London Particular, $2.50
  • South Side, old, rich and delicate, $3.00
  • Wedding Wine, $3.00
  • Judge Story’s, M. M. rich, imported in 1826, $3.00
  • Symington’s superior old Reserve, $3.00
  • Gipsy Wine, bottled in 1827, $3.50
  • Symington’s Sercial, very dry, high flavored, $4.00
  • Leacock’s Old East India Madeira, $4.00
  • Thorndike’s very old, bottle racked, $4.00
  • Sir John Keene, imported into Kingston, Jamaica, and bottled in 1826, $4.00
  • Judge Story’s Judicial Wine, T. M. imported in 1829, $4.00
  • Symington’s extra old Reserve, vintage 1807, $4.00
  • Montiero’s Brazil, very old, a favorite wine, $5.00
  • Rapid East India Madeira, imported by J. W. Boott, Esq. in 1819, bottled in 1822, $5.00
  • Monteiro’s “Meteor,” very superior, $5.00
  • Bramin East India Madeira, imported by J. W. Boot, Esq. in 1819, $6.00
  • Ed. Tuckerman’s, imported in 1820, from Scott, Penfold & Loughman, $6.00
  • White Top, $7.00
  • Sercial Madeira, imported in 1818, from Gordon, Duff, Inglis & Co. by J. D. & M. Williams, $8.00
  • Governor Phillips, imported in 1823 from Page, Phelps & Co., $9.00
  • Francis Amory’s, bottled in 1800 marked “M.”, $12.00

CozzensWestPoint_nypl34943
Cozzen’s West Point Hotel[3]
September 3, 1852
Madeira Wine

  • Superior Old Sercial, per bottle, $5.00
  • Brahmin, per bottle, $5.00
  • Sup. Old J. G. 1825, per bottle, $5.00
  • Lewis, per bottle, $3.00
  • Malmsey, per bottle, $3.00
  • Palehinto, per bottle, $2.50
  • Scott, Penfold & co. Gracie, per bottle, $3.00
  • St. Nicholas, per bottle, $2.00
  • St. Nicholas, per half bottle, $1.00
  • Sercial, Symington, per bottle, $3.00
  • Constitution, per bottle, $2.00
  • Constitution, per half bottle, $1.00
  • Constitution, per bottle, $1.40
  • Constitution, per half bottle, $0.75
  • Black Warrior, per bottle, $2.00
  • Reserve Cama de Labos, per bottle, $2.00
  • Reserve St. Antoine, per bottle, $2.00
  • Old East India, Gracie & Co. , per bottle, $3.00
  • Adelaide, March & Benson, per bottle, $2.00
Irving House. Image from NYPL.

Irving House. Image from NYPL.

Irving House[4]
New York, New  York
October 12, 1852
Madeira

  • London Particular, $1.50
  • March & Benson’s, South Side, $2.00
  • Stalker’s East India, $2.00
  • Bininger’s Pure Juice, $2.00
  • Tina, or Burgundy Madeira, $2.500
  • Stalker’s East India, $2.50
  • March & Benson’s,  Dry South Side, very fine and delicate, $2.50
  • Stalker’s Sercial, fine and high flavored, $2.50
  • Bual, fine and delicate, $2.50
  • Monteiro, $2.50
  • Melvers, vintage 1832, $2.50
  • Victoria, M. B., very fine $2.50
  • Fruity, rich, vintage 1830, $2.50
  • Leacock, Harris & Co., imported 1832, $2.50
  • Black Warrior, old and fruity wine, $2.50
  • Sercial, very old, $2.50
  • Blackburn’s Dry Reserve, $3.00
  • Blackburn’s Malmsey or Wedding Wine, $3.00
  • San Francisco, vintage 1833, $3.00
  • Blackburn, from private stock of late Tho’s Bloodgood, Esq., $3.00
  • Old Reserve, $3.00
  • Newton, Gordon & co., vintage 1820, been one voyage to the E. I., $3.00
  • Superior Old Madeira, 3 years in India, $3.50
  • Black Dwarf, vintage 1825, $4.00
  • J. Oliveira Co.’s Palhetinho, old, dry and very delicate, $4.00
  • Blackburn’s, Shark, very superior and old, $4.00
  • Charleston Madeira, private stock, $4.00
  • Diploma Madeira, demijohns, extra and old, $4.50
  • Old Madeira, a gentleman’s private stock, 25 years in demijohns, bottles in 1815, $5.00
  • Ivanhoe, $5.00
  • Pomona, original, $6.00
  • Ocean, Hodges’ reserve, $6.00
  • Laycock, original, $6.00
  • John Noble, $8.00
  • Magnum Bonum, old City Hotel, $12.00
American Hotel. Image from NYPL.

American Hotel. Image from NYPL.

American Hotel[5]
Buffalo, New York
October 5, 1855
Madeira

  • Rapid, Imported by March and Benson, $6.00
  • Bramin, 1819, $5.00
  • Ivanhoe, $4.00
  • Black Cork, $3.00
  • Caimha de Bisho, N. Paulding, $3.00
  • Symington’s Verdelho, (highly flavored), $2.00
  • South Side, $2.00
  • Blackburn, $2.00

CongressHall_nypl33492
Congress Hall[6]
Saratoga Springs, NY
September 8, 1856
Madeira

  • Old South Side, $2.00
  • Old Reserve, $2.00
  • Old Regency AHB, $2.00
  • Victoria, $2.00
  • Toree, Pale, $2.00
  • L. P. Madeira, $2.00
  • Newton, A. H. B., $2.00
  • Lond Particular, $2.50
  • Old Rosewood, $2.50
Troy House. Image from NYPL.

Troy House. Image from NYPL.

Troy House[7]
Troy, New  York
October 10, 1856
Maderia

  • March & Benson, $2.00
  • Old Boal, $2.00
  • Wanderer, $2.00
  • Old Serical, “dry,” $2.50
  • Old Reserve Blackburn, $2.50
  • Old Reserve Bloodgood, $2.50
  • Old London Particular, $2.00
  • Howard’s Maderia, $3.50
Battle House. Image from NYPL.

Battle House. Image from NYPL.

Battle House[8]
Mobile, Alabama
March 4, 1857
Madeira

  • Monteiros, $1.50
  • Bemposa, $2.00
  • Sercial, $2.00
  • Old London Particular, $2.50
  • Blackburn, $2.50
  • Monteiro’s M. T. high flavor, $3.00
  • Symingtons extra choice old London Particular, $3.00
  • Old South Side, delicate, $3.00
  • Wedding Wine, $3.00
  • Emperor of Russia, $3.50
  • Georgia, bottled by Jno. D. & M. Williams, 1836, $4.00
  • Revere Vintage, 1835, $4.00
  • Victoria, from Howard, March & Co., $4.00
  • Williams White Top, Vintage 183: West India, $4.50
  • Monteiro’s Meteor. Sup’r, $5.00
  • Rapid East India Madeira, import’d by J. W. Boott, Esq., in 1819, $6.00
  • “Old Virginia,” imported from Monteiros in 1833, $6.00
  • Com. Nicholson’s Sercial, black seal, bottle racked 1842, $5.00
  • Sir John Keene, very old and exceedingly high flavored, $6.00
  • Newton, Gordon & Murdock #100, vintage 1818, $7.00
  • Agrella, Vintage of 1818, $7.00
  • “Old White Top” W. India Madeira, from a private stock, $8.00
Parker House. Image from NYPL.

Parker House. Image from NYPL.

Parker House[9]
Boston, Massachusetts
January 4, 1858
Madeira

  • Webster, qts. and pts., $1.50
  • Monteiro’s Old L. P. , qts. and pts., $1.50
  • Leacock, qts. and pts., $2.00
  • Don Pedro, qts. and pts., $2.00
  • Monteiro’s Reserve, qts. and pts., $2.00
  • Monteiro’s Nord Polen, $2.00
  • Georgia, $2.50
  • Palhetinho, $2.50
  • Victoria, $2.50
  • Carvalhal, very old and dry, $2.50
  • Donaldson’s old South Side #100, very rich, $3.00
  • Robbin’s Coffin, warranted 50 years old, $8.00
Willard's Hotel. Image from NYPL.

Willard’s Hotel. Image from NYPL.

Willard’s Hotel[10]
Washington, DC
February 12, 1864
Madeira

  • Old South Side, $2.50
  • Blackburn Madeira, old, $3.00
  • Reserve, very choice, $3.50
  • Oliviera, very old, $4.00
  • Gratz Grape Juice, $5.00
  • Howard, very delicate, $6.00
  • Cochran’s Old Madeira, No. 45, $6.00
  • Cochran’s Old Madeira extra fine, No. 42, $10.00
  • Funchel Madeira, very delicate, and of exquisite flavor, W. Chillingworth & Son, London, $3.50
Revere House. Image from NYPL.

Revere House. Image from NYPL.

Revere House[11]
Boston, Massachusetts
March 8, 1865
Madeira

  • Madeira, from J. D. & M. Williams
  • Monteiro’s $2.00
  • Don Pedro, reserved stock, $3.50
  • Revere, Vintage, 1835, $3.50
  • Judge Story’s S. M., $4.00
  • Thorndike’s Bottle Racked, $5.00
  • Monteiro’s Brazil, very old, $6.00
  • Old Virginia, $5.00
  • Newton, Gordon & Murdock, #100, 1818, $6.00
  • Monteiro’s “Metior.”, $6.00
  • White Top, I. P. Davis, $7.00
  • Sercial, imported in 1818, $7.00
  • Eclipse, I. P. Davis, $8.00
  • Gov. Phillips, 1820, $10.00
  • Edward Tuckerman, 1820, $10.00
  • Fancis Amory, bottled 1800, Marked M, $12.00
  • Symington’s Old Reserve, $4.00
  • Emperor of Russian, $4.00
  • Sir John Keene, $5.00
  • Bramin E. In. im. By J. W. Boott, 1819, $8.00
  • Rapid E. In. im. By J. W. Boott, 1819, $8.00
St. Nicholas House. Image from NYPL.

St. Nicholas House. Image from NYPL.

St Nicholas Hotel[12]
November 17, 1866
Madeira

  • Scott, pale and delicate, $2.50 per quart
  • Newton, Gordon & Murdock’s old, full delicate and high flavored, $3.50 per quart
  • Montero’s very old, pale and delicate, $5,00 per quart
  • From Gil Davis, Victoria Royal, Pale and delicate, $4.00 per quart
  • From Gil Davis, Howard, March & Co, $5.00 per quart
  • From Gil Davis, 1836 Bual Priest’s, $6.00 per quart
  • 1842 Welsh Brothers, Favorite Vintage, imported by Treadwell, Acker & Co., $5.00 per quart
  • 1815 Welsh Brothers, Old Reserve Vintage, imported by Treadwell, Acker & Co., $7.00 per quart
  • 1815 Welsh Brothers, Old Reserve Sercial,  imported by Treadwell, Acker & Co., $10.00 per quart
Categories: History of Wine Tags:
  1. William Breihan
    August 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve been tracing the life of Commodore John B. Nicolson (correct spelling). He seems to have made a number of trips to Madeira while on duty. He also enlisted several other USN captains to bring back pipes and cases for him whenever they were there. He apparently built up quite a stock. I see his Madeira was still on the market more than a decade after his death. The Commodore lost both his father William Nicolson and his uncle George Nicolson (mayor of Richmond, VA) on a voyage to Madeira in 1802.

    • August 29, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Fascinating. Do you have any inventories or correspondence related to his Madeira?

      • William Breihan
        August 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

        I am still working on this. So far I have at least two specific dates for the Commodore’s visits to Madeira (1832 & 1837) from naval records. There is a sailor’s reminiscences for the latter year: “… we sailed to Funchal, Island of Madeira, where we took in a lot of Madeira wine, id est, a number of casks for the use of our Commodore, and the junior officers attached to our ship. We then set sail, after firing several salutes for Portuguese officers, who came on board, and having bid adieu to our friends made in port, from Funcahl, to our naval station direct, viz. the Brazils…” Also, there is report of a trip to Madeira by a captain formerly from the Commodore’s squadron in which he picked up Madeira for his former commander. This came out in the court martial trial of the captain for hanging three sailors involved in a purported mutiny: “As one of the inducements to her [the ship’s] capture, he stated that a box, containing wine of rare value, brought off with much care at Madeira, as a present from I.H. Burden, Esq., United States vice-consul at Funchal, to Commodore J. B. Nicholson, contained money or treasure to a large amount.” There is also an 1843 letter from Com Stewart to Com Nicolson, where the former regrets that he will not be going to Madeira after all and will not be able to pick up “the box of feather flowers you desire” nor deliver “your letter to the Consul” as planned. John Niven in his biography of President Martin Van Buren, speaking of the year 1848, writes, “Van Buren…missed those friends of the past––Jackson, dead now for almost three years: his jocular companion over many a bottle of choice Madeira, Commodore Nicholson…” If interested, I can also share a partial list of the inventory of the ship that returned to Richmond from Madeira 19 June 1802, without Com Nicolson’s father and uncle, who perished on the voyage. wcbreihan@aol.com

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