NEW YORK (AP) _ A bottle of Madeira owned by Thomas Jefferson during his presidency drew a high bid of $23,000 from a Las Vegas casino that plans to serve it up on the Fourth of July or New Year's Eve 1999 for $100 a taste.

In an auction Friday run by Sotheby's, Rio Suite Hotel & Casino chief master sommelier Barrie Larvin bought the 197-year-old bottle of wine by a telephone bid.

The sale price was well above the estimated price of $10,000 to $15,000, said Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby's international wine department.

``It is extremely rare for a bottle of such great historical significance to appear at auction,'' Ms. Sutcliffe said.

The casino also paid $6,000 for an empty green glass Madeira wine bottle that the nation's third chief of state kept during his 1801-1809 presidency. Both bottles bear a handwritten label that says ``Jefferson Madeira 1800.''

Sale prices include the auction house premium.

``What we paid today _ that was a good buy for something associated with Thomas Jefferson,'' Larvin said, adding that he plans to decant the Madeira ``very carefully'' either on July 4 or on Dec. 31, 1999.

Larvin predicted the wine held in an amber glass bottle is drinkable and could fetch $100 a taste, with up to 20 tastes available.

``The empty bottle,'' Larvin said, ``could go very well in our gift shop.''

The wine had been sold twice before, once at Jefferson effects sale in 1843, then later in 1890. The seller of both Jefferson bottles was described as a European-born nobleman living on the East Coast, Sotheby's spokeswoman Mallory May said.