How does one celebrate a document of such gargantuan gravitas and grandeur as The Declaration of Independence? The American way of course: by drinking whatever is readily available.
When it was time to toast the towering testimony, the founding fathers opted for a wine that was sturdy. Madeira, named for the Portuguese island from which it originated, was an American staple in the country's early days. Madeira is favored for it's fortification, meaning that spirits are added to the wine as a preservative with the bonus effect of increasing the alcohol content.
Additionally, Madeira can withstand the high temperatures present during shipping, which "cooks" and ruins most wines. Madeira was also the wine of choice for the inauguration of America's first president, George Washington, and to celebrate the signing of the Louisiana Purchase. It's estimated that, at the time, America imported about 1/4 of the Madeira produced by Portugal.