A UK state banquet held for visiting Chinese president Xi Jinping included Chateau Haut-Brion 1989, a 2009 vintage English sparkling wine and vintage Port, sources have told Decanter.com.

Around 150 guests attended the Xi Jinping dinner held last at Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen. Guests also included prime minister David Cameron and Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.

The Chinese president and his entourage were treated to Ridgeview Grosvenor 2009 Brut English sparkling wine as part of the event.

Other wines chosen from the government’s £3m hospitality cellar included a Chateau Haut-Brion 1989, a regular fixture at fine wine auctions and a lauded Bordeaux vintage for several chateaux, according to a source with knowledge of the event.

Guests also drank Warre’s vintage Port from 1977, one of the most highly rated years in the Douro, plus a Meursault Premier Cru Santenots 2007 from Domaine Marquis d’Angerville in Burgundy and Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008 from South Africa.

Officials in the UK government’s cellar rate occasions as either A, B or C in order to help decide the wines that are chosen for dinners and functions.

With the pomp and ceremony surrounding Xi Jinping’s visit, it was clear that the Chinese president has made the top tier. The UK government said his presence will ‘unlock’ £30bn in commercial deals.

A dinner menu from Buckingham Palace, published by the Guardian on its live blog last night, included a loin of venison from the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, served in a Madeira and truffle sauce. To start, guests ate filet of west coast turbot with lobster mousse.

There was a ‘delice’ of dark chocolate, mango and lime for dessert.

See the full menu:

Xi Jinping menu, Buckingham Palace

(Extra reporting by Harry Fawkes and Sylvia Wu)

Updated 23/10/15: Meursault was missing a ‘u’ in the initial version. Apologies for the slip.


    I noticed that England have not heard abt Riedel glasses, the glasses used for wines
    in the top society needs to be made over. Are U sure that besides the wrong spelling,
    all other points were carefully done for wines ???. Why are there no Italian wines ???.

  • Porkington

    Pity Decanter can’t spell Meursault correctly!

  • Beng Ti Tan

    My guess is the Queen herself !

  • luigizerozero

    Total ignorance on Cameron’s part, great subtlety from whoever managed to put it on the list.

  • Beng Ti Tan

    This is most unusual a choice – 1989 while a good vintage is the year of the Tiananmen massacre and a taboo subject to raise formally with the Chinese government. Either total ignorance or great subtlety at work here.

  • quercus33

    Was the Haut-Brion served with coke?

  • Prince charming

    It’s a royal tradition since Victoria, kinda posh (wink wink)

  • Guy Ripley

    Is there any particular reason that a banquet menu given by England for Chinese should be written in French?