Drink In Some History With a New Wine Come to Town

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

A few befuddled wine writers, trying to untangle the mystery of why more drinkers don't demand Madeira, have posited the fortified wine's been done in by a storied past. They wonder if tales of Benjamin Franklin knocking back bottles while negotiating the purchase of cannons to fend off Redcoats have left Madeira looking dated and irrelevant.

But smart drinkers don't begrudge Madeira's heritage - the Rare Wine Co., the California outlet that's largely responsible for the wine's American resurgence, celebrates it with its esteemed "historic series." The latest addition to the line-up has just reached Dallas, and it's terrific.

Each of the wines in the series is named for a leading Colonial city, and it's tempting to ascribe their various characteristics to the personalities of their namesakes. The New York Malmsey's powerful, the Charleston Sercial's genteel, and the newly-released New Orleans Special Reserve is a bit boisterous.

The Rare Wine Co.'s released the New Orleans cuvee only once before, in conjunction with a 2007 Katrina benefit. The wine's made from the Terrantez grape, which just about secures its specialness. But its quality cinches it: Supremely dry, the woodsy wine has notes of gingerbread and orange peel. Probably would have incited Franklin to set off a cannon.

New Orleans Special Reserve is available at Sigel's stores.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.