One wine, more than any other, is strongly associated with the history of the United States, and with July 4th. That wine is Madeira. Drunk by the founding fathers during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Madeira was also what Francis Scott Key sipped as he composed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” George Washington (who reportedly drank a pint every night with dinner), Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all adored it, as did John Adams (who wrote to his wife, Abigail, about the copious amounts they consumed during the Continental Congress). By the end of the eighteenth century, nearly a fourth of all the Madeira produced was being exported to the American colonies. Among the colonial well-to-do, Madeira parties—the first American cocktail parties—became commonplace. Today, you can buy extraordinary Madeiras—dry and sweet styles—from three principal import companies: The Rare Wine Company, Broadbent Selections, and The Madeira Wine Company. Madeira is one of the longest-lived wines in the world and you can still buy bottles that will outlive you. And a final important fact: Madeira is one of the few wines in the world that go incredibly well with chocolate. See for yourself!