Advert for W Dent, wine merchant
Medium: Print on paper
The staple drink at upper-middle class dinner parties at the beginning of the 19th century was claret. Vineyards in Bordeaux saved the best produce for England, their biggest market.
Other wines such as Maderia, port and sherry were also popular, but as the century progressed fashion changed from sweet to dry wines. Champagne and hock were Queen Victoria's own favourites, and her enthusiasm was shared by the aspiring middle classes. Upmarket wine merchants such as W Dent had to ensure that they stocked only the most fashionable wines.