[MANUSCRIPT LETTER, SIGNED BY FENWICK MASON, GEORGE WASHINGTON'S WINE MERCHANT, REGARDING AN ORDER OF WINE]
by [Washington, George]
Bordeaux, 1789. pp. Folio, on a folded sheet. Old folds. Old tape along lower half of left margin on first page. Some light soiling and wear at edges. Very good. Letter written to President George Washington by his wine merchants in Bordeaux, signed by agent Fenwick Mason, referring to various wines ordered by Washington, consisting of "26 dozen claret and 12 dozen vins de grave." Mason writes, in part: "We have taken much pains to procure this wine and are well persuaded it is the best to be had but we fear it (the claret particularly) may not be found fit for drinking immediately tho' it is old pure & of one of the first growths since it has just been bottled. As the best wine is always bought in cask, we beg leave to recommend to you to order always somewhat in advance that it may lie 6 or 8 months in bottle to ripen. In our last we told you that no good Champagne wine is to be had here, except when expressly ordered from that place, but a friend of ours at Rheims from whence that wine is sent, has spared us a case of 2 doz bottles (1 doz white sparkling & 1 doz still red) both of the best quality which we take the liberty to send you as a sample. If you find it pleasing we can always supply you by having timely orders. It will require two months to have it prepared and brought to this place. The principal objection is the expence of land carriage, which is heavy. The claret exceeds by a few bottles your orders, as it is in cases of 25 bottles we could not make the numbers nearer." Understandably, Washington would have quite a bit of entertaining to do as president and good wines were obviously necessary. An interesting letter, highlighting the cellars at the White House and the transatlantic means by which one ordered wine in the 18th century.
(Inventory #: WRCAM49970)
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