At the official inaugural lunch yesterday, President Barack Obama was toasted with exclusively American wines.
At the post-inaugural lunch in the Capitol building in Washington, America’s legislators downed three California wines.
Duckhorn Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, from Napa Valley, accompanied the first course, a seafood stew topped with puff pastry.
Goldeneye 2005 Pinot Noir, from the Anderson Valley – and part of the Duckhorn stable – accompanied the second course, which the menu describe as ‘a brace of American birds (pheasant and duck) served with sourcherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes.’
Sparkling wine, Korbel Natural ‘Special Inaugural Cuvée’ was paired with the desert, apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glacé. Korbel has been served at the past five presidential inaugurations.
The 237-guest lunch was attended by former presidents George W Bush, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet executives and other political and governmental luminaries.
Inauguration Day was frigid. Obama needed the soup to warm up. He ate only a little before greeting the guests. Before leaving the table, he told a waiter, ‘Don’t let them take my soup.’
When Obama gives formal dinners at the White House, it is likely that only American wines will be served.
That policy began with President Lyndon B Johnson, who succeeded the assassinated John F Kennedy, who, with his wife, Jacqueline, had francophile tastes.
At the White House there is no formal wine cellar. Wines are purchased, and often donated, for specific events.
Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York