Our raffle prize has kindly been donated by Patricia Guy: a bottle of Blandy's Ten Year Old Madeira Terranze, four hand-blown liqueur (grappa) glasses (although it should be noted that our Founding Fathers drank Madeira by the tankardful), and a copy of Patricia's book (written with her colleague in Singapore Edwin Soon) Matching Wine with Asian Food, in which she mentions Madeira as an option for the adventurous. Also a nice little wine pocket, which holds your wine glass and can be hung around your neck, thus freeing your hands for the buffet.
According to the label, "the Terrantez is one of the traditional or noble grapes of Madeira. Owing to the unprolific nature and susceptibility to disease, Terrantez wines were not replanted after the devastating phylloxera infestation. Consequently these wines are very rare and much sought after." Patricia bought the bottle in 1996, on her honeymoon in Madeira, and assures us that Madeira travels well . . . and that's important, because this bottle has crossed the Atlantic three times: it would have been offered by the Fund last year, but American Airlines misplaced it, along with everything in else in her luggage, for a few months.
Madeira is mentioned in the Canon . . . the island rather than the wine . . . and Patricia believes (and has explained in her book Bacchus in Baker Street) that the cobwebby bottles mentioned in "The Noble Bachelor" undoubtedly were Madeira.