The Thorn Champagne

So this is all rather intriguing. There are a few mentions in the New York papers about the “Thorn Champagne”, which was being imported from France and distributed through Colonel Thorn’s connection to the Livingstons. I’m wondering how best to try and find out what vineyard in Champagne this came from, and how successful it was. It doesn’t seemed to have survived past Thorn’s lifetime. I’m hoping some of our French relatives might be able to help track the source down.

1845: THE UNDERSIGNED will have constantly for sale a pure and wholesome Champagne Wine, of
a quality unsurpassed, if not unequalled, by any hitherto imported into this country. The article referred to has been manufactured with great rare from the best grapes of one of the finest Vineyards in the Champagne district of France, and is pill up under the special supervision of one of the best judges in Europe. It is intended that the quality should be uniform, and not suffered to depreciate in future shipments. As a guaranty of the excellence of the wine, the manufacturer has received the approval of Col. Herman Thorn, of Paris. In attach an impression of that gentleman’s seal to each bottle. It will be known an the “TIIORN CHAMPAGNE.*

There are three varieties of the article. One a very dry wine, which will probably be preferred by men; another is less dry and will undoubtedly be the favourite; the third is sweeter still, and is much esteemed. The three varieties comprise of different tastes that rule the demand. Concerning this wine. Colonel Thorn thus writes: It it of a quality rarely to be met within America. I have drank no other for the year past.

The following notices from the New York press are worthy of attention:
“Thorn Champagne”—This wine is peculiar, unique and matchless. It is now the fashion to place bouquets on the dinner table; but we say that after this, we would not give ? for a rose without the Thorn.—
True Sun.

“Thorn Champagne”.—Lovers of this delightful wine will find a constant supply of the genuine brand at C. Livingston’s, No. 10 Wall street. This wine is manufactured from the finest grapes of one of the finest vineyards of the Champagne district of France, and is undeniably of most exquisite flavour. From the high respectability of the American agent, who assures us that the wine is put up under the personal supervision of one of the best judges in Europe, there can be no doubt as to the genuineness of this Champagne.—Commercial Advertiser.

“The Thorn Champagne”‘ is a very superior article of wine, ami is of a quality rarely to be seen within America. We recommend it to the keepers of the fashionable hotels.—Evening Mirror.

“The Thorn Champagne” is a new brand of delicious quality. This species of wine consists of three varieties, the very dry, the less dry and the sweet; the last we understand is a choice kind for ladies — The prices of these exquisite wines do not exceed those of other wines.”—N. Y. Albion.

“Thorn Champagne”—This wine has been brought into our market from France, where it was manufactured with great care from the best grapes of one of the finest vineyards in the Champagne district. It is commended by Col. Thorn as of ‘a quality rarely met within America,’ and therefore is recommended by one of the greatest connoisseurs of wine in Europe—N. Y. Express.

It need only to be once tasted to be appreciated by the greatest connoisseur—N. Y. Herald

The Thorn Champagne is warranted pure, and its manufacture is a work of great care, risk and labor. The grapes are pulled with much caution; every one injured, picked out and set aside. Great caution is observed not to damage the fruit in the carriage to the press, where the grapes are operated on immediately. The wine has an exquisite flavour and aroma, is of a light amber color and cannot fail of commending itself to the connoisseur.

The demand for the above wine is greatly increasing. and its quality highly prized.
Orders by mail will receive prompt attention

10 Wall-street, New-York.

And below is a bonus snippet that I found while digging around about the Champagne! I love the description of General Cass, and Thorn’s rebuff of his dress requirements. So much of their society was influenced by either perceived slights or favours.

Gen . Cass is by nature and practice an aristocrat. He could not remain at the French court, and visit Louis Phillipe without appearing with his sword, white satin vest and unmentionables, with silk stockings, chapeau, and a nosegay. And, while there, he made every American dress in the same manner before he would present him to the King. He refused to present Col . Thorn, because he would not submit to this miserable foppery. 

Lewis Cass


  1. As I thought it was interesting to know which Brands existed before 1850, I had a list from the Comité Champagne in Reims. Many !! Not easy to ask each Cie…. should you want the list, let me know.


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