Wines from the White House's 2014 French State Dinner

2011 La Proportion Doree, a Semillon sauv-blanc blend, roughly $65/bttl (misattributed on the menu as being from Napa; it’s Sonoma Coast sauce)

2009 Long Shadows Chester Kidder Red Blend, Columbia Valley, roughly $40-50/bttl

NV Thibaut-Jannison Blanc-de-Chardonnay (bubbly), VA, about $30/bttl.

Somewhat ballsy, if not underwhelming, choices to serve to the French head of state, oui? VA bubbles? Hmm.

I understand not serving crazy expensive sauce to a room of 400 people, but this seems a bit cheap. Not sure I’d be serving Hollande high QPR wine. I do appreciate the cost-cutting efforts, however. Perhaps this is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kinda moment.

The French I drink with (they’re all Socialists) love QPR wines.

Scenario #1: They serve QPR domestic wine, including VA bubbles (after visiting Monticello together this week) and get raised eyebrows from wine boards everywhere, and maybe disappointment from Hollande.

Scenario #2: They serve really good stuff, domestic or – god forbid French wines – and get slammed in the papers for the expense and elitism in serving expensive wine.

You are the political director at the White House; which do you choose?

I know in Nixon’s day, the head table drank better stuff than what was on the menu. I wonder if that tradition continues.

W and Obama don’t drink, I don’t think. Just saw Obama making a state dinner toast and I am pretty sure he was holding a water glass.

Interesting little video here. Look how long it took to get the car door unlocked

The WH has put out photos Of Obama drinking beer. At least it looked that way.

Hollande loves QPR…that was the reason for his partial sale of the French national cellar. To replace those wines that are too exensive to drink with more humble stuff. My guess is that Obama’s staff took note.

O drinks.

Apparently, they were all part of the theme of “American wines made by French winemakers”

The WH only serves American wine. I applaud the choice of Morlet, a frenchman who moved to America for love and is one of the most versatile winemakers I taste with. LPD was Morlet’s first release under his label in the 2006 vintage.

Ah, the politics of wine. I love it. Perhaps this is posted in the wrong forum!

Apparently some former colleagues of the owner/winemaker at Domaine Dublere tried to persuade the WH to serve some Dublere wine at the dinner, under the theme of “French wines made by American winemakers,” but it didn’t fly. Whether Burgundy is too elitist – or too expensive – or whether that knife only cuts one way (“American wines made by French winemakers”) is unclear… [snort.gif]

The Thibaut-Janisson was quite nice when I have had it before. It’s an excellent pick for the theme.


Doug is very much correct, the White House only serves American wines. I believe that started under President Carter. They do try to come up with themes, based on the dignitary visiting. Daniel Shanks is the White House Wine Buyer and he does, IMO, a pretty fantastic job in difficult circumstances (there is always criticism — as noted…to expensive, too inexpensive, too this, too that). But then again, I might be biased since he serves our wines a great deal.

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

Recent New Yorker profile indicates Obama is a martini drinker

Obama needs to learn how to hold a wine glass:

[Note, just light wine geek banter, nothing partisan at all intended there]

Casa Dragones is some tasty tequila!

If they’d had a bit more warning, maybe they could have lined up American wines made by French winemakers who had just ditched their partners for a hot young tootsy.