the birthday of our favorite,
wine-obsessed Founding Father,
Born April 13th, 1743, to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph,
at the family home of Shadwell, in the County of Virginia, British America.
And while we revel in all his Renaissance Man-ness,
we especially love his über fixation on food and drink.
To celebrate, the menu will include some Jeffersonian favorites:
Frites with Béarnaise Sauce
(yes, yes, T.J. apparently introduced the French Fry to America…
and enjoyed a lot of them at the Chick-fil-A in Charlottesville)
(for all of his greatness, T.J was still an unabashed slave owner…
this dish pays homage to James Hemings, his chef,
and one of the few individuals who T.J. did free before his death)
(since a gluten allergy did not exist in the 18th Century,
T.J. received a daily delivery of three baguettes from Maison Kayser)
Wine-wise, we will honor Jefferson’s posting to Paris from 1784 – 1789,
where his primary function was to prove to the European powers
that the United States was not a debtor nation.
Equal to this task, though, was a mission to taste and visit the great wine areas of the Continent…
and damn, he did this with missionary zeal.
To celebrate, the wine glass list will include:
Bruno Gobbillard Brut, Vieilles Vignes, NV, Champagne, France
(old vines stuff, yes, but not an old vintage…T.J. loved the 1766 vintage)
Château Fieuzal, L’Abeille de Fieuzal, 2011, Pessac-Léognan, France
(a Bordeaux Blanc from a commune just southeast of Bordeaux, the city…
we can trace T.J.’s footprints all over this landscape)
Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Trocken, Gelblack, 2014, Rheingau, Germany
(T.J. and his mates fought against the Hessian mercenaries during the Revolutionary War but he also befriended many of them – especially a Major Geismar – and especially loved their wines. On April 11th, 1788, the great man himself visited the vineyards of Schloss Johannisberg…
talk about history in a bottle!).
Jean-Marc Bouley Volnay, Vieilles Vignes, 2013, Côte de Beaune, France
(on March 8th, 1787, T.J. ventured south from Paris to Burgundy, where his new found friend, Etienne Parent, showed him the wonders of this remarkable landscape)
Barbeito / Rare Wine Co. Medium-Dry Madeira,
Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve, NV, Madeira, Portugal
(well, what to say about T.J. and Madeira, the awesome, fortified wine from a volcanic outcropping in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean…without this wine, there would be no Declaration of Independence)
we raise a mighty toast to you on your birthday.