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Day 1 – Thomas Jefferson, A Primer
Day 2 – The First Wine of Record, Claret
Day 3 – Jefferson and Madeira
Day 4 – Jefferson’s Favorite Wines Available Today
Day 5 – Monticello Pictorial
Day 6 – Monticello Vineyards
Day 7 – The Monticello Cellar
Day 8 – Thomas Jefferson—Orchardist and Cidermaker (Part 1)
Day 9 – Quotable Jefferson
Day 10 – The Curious Philip Mazzei
Day 11 – Jefferson Vineyards
Day 12 – What Would Jefferson Think?
Day 13 – Thomas Jefferson—Cidermaker and Scientist-Farmer (Part 2)
Day 14 – Jefferson in Paris – A Pictorial of his Travels
Day 15 – Jefferson in Paris – Pictorial
Day 16 – Jefferson’s Wine Travels Through France and Italy
Day 17 – Jefferson’s Memorandum Notes on Journey Through France and Italy
Day 18 – Monticello Wine Festival
Day 19 – Jefferson in France, Thoughts on Bordeaux
Day 20 – Jefferson’s Paris Wine Cellar
Day 21 – Jefferson in Burgundy – Random Notes
Day 22 – Germany and Champagne, Jefferson’s Route
Day 23 – Jefferson in Champagne
Day 24 – Jefferson, The Wine Consultant
Day 25 – President Jefferson and Wine, How Much Did Jefferson Spend On Wine?

Day 26 – President Jefferson, Wine Fact

In yesterday’s post, I covered Jefferson’s wine expenditures during his Presidency.  Today I provide a quick wine fact from Jefferson’s time in the President’s House (now called The White House).

The wines of Burgundy would be very desirable and there are three kinds, Chambertin, Voujeau & Veaune, & one of their wines, Montrachet which, under favorable circumstances, will bear transportation, but always with risk of being spoiled on the way, to either great heat or cold, as I have known by experience since I returned to America.

As noted in James Gabler’s Passions: The Wine and Travels of Thomas Jefferson, according to Jefferson’s account books, he purchased about 20,000 bottles of wine during his eight years as President. (p.200)  Based on my calculation yesterday that Jefferson spent roughly $300,000 (in 2009 dollars) on wine during his eight years as President, this equates to roughly $15/bottle in today’s dollars.  Although I can not cite a specific source, my suspicion is that this 20,000 bottle number is on the high side.  I suspect the number of bottles Jefferson and his ‘friends’ consumed during his Presidential years is less than half this amount. (Gabler determined the approximate number of 20,000 bottles figure by calculating the equivalent number of bottles contained in each barrel.)

Taking residence in the cellar at the President’s House were the wines of Bordeaux including Rausan Margaux (now Chateaux Rausan-Segla), Chateaux d’Yquem and Filhot that Jefferson was introduced to during his time in Paris.  Jefferson’s cellar also included Chambertin from Burgundy, white Hermitage from the Rhone and Champagne, along with plenty of Madeira in the early years.

Interestingly, Chambertin was the only red Burgundy in Jefferson’s Presidential wine cellar.  Though Jefferson was a big fan of Burgundy reds, the limited representation in his Presidential cellar was a function of his experience with the risk of spoilage.

Tomorrow, I will provide an itemized account of Jefferson’s Presidential wine cellar…


Passions – The Wine and Travels of Thomas Jefferson, James Gabler


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