Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!
Browse other programs we offer

Thomas Jefferson and Madeira: A History and Tasting

Weekend Program and Tasting

Noon Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0246
Select Your Tickets
Madeira decanter excavated at Monticello (Thomas Jefferson Foundation)

For 400 years, Madeira was the most popular wine throughout the British Empire. The American colonies drank a quarter of the world’s production. George Washington enjoyed several glasses with dinner each evening, the Continental Congress celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence with it, and Thomas Jefferson ordered the equivalent of 3,500 bottles during his first three years in the White House.

Thomas Jefferson developed a lifelong love of Madeira from George Wythe, his law tutor at William and Mary. The fortified Portuguese wine ages very well, and shipments actually improved with heat and the rocking motion of a ship, making it a popular import in early America.

Hear more about the history of Madeira and its connection to Thomas Jefferson from Susan Sullivan Lagon, lecturer at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute and historian at The Jefferson Hotel. Enjoy a guided tasting of fine Madeiras hosted by David Metz, wine director and sommelier at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Plume restaurant.

The Jefferson Hotel
1200 16th St NW, Washington, DC
Metro: Farragut North or Dupont Circle