Norfolk Novr. 28, 1806
Inclosed is a receipt for a Hd of old Brasil wine, which I hope will meet your approbation. I think it of superior quality to any I have lately seen. As mine frequently gets spoild in fining I recommend to you my mode by which I have generally clear wine. The Cask is fixed on the stand on the head & about a pint of milk thrown into it, shaking the cask well on pooring the milk in. The best way is to fix two cocks in the cask, one at the bottom & the other about 1/ 3 from the top Draw a pail full of wine, putting the milk first in the pail & the wine running from the Cock will well mix it. Return it into the cask & shake it well Then fix it steady for use. In about 6 or 8 days the upper cock will give you clear wine & by the time you use to it, the lower cock will be in order In a fortnight both will be find but the first bottle in either will probably be thick
By these means my wine is fin’d & I always drink it out of the Cask being milder than when bottled & I think less lost, as every bottle has a sediment which often fouls the wine. Excuse me for troubling you with my opinion on the management of wine. Having seen so much spoild in fining I was induced to tell you my mode of management. Health & happiness attend you Yrs. respectfully
DLC: Papers of James Madison.