Obama's Wine Choices Were Just Fine, Thanks

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
February 12, 2014

Photo credit: Courtesy Morlet

Okay, wine writers, let’s not get our corkscrews all in a twist (or something like that). The Washington Examiner just declared—of President Obama’s decision to serve three bottles of wine costing $125, total, at last night’s state dinner with French President François Hollande—”the White House is going the Costco route.” Conversely, writer Paul Bedard reports, Obama uncorked a $115 Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon when he entertained China’s president.

So the White House didn’t throw a ton of money at the wine for this dinner. So what? “All of these wines are awesome,” says Food & Wine magazine senior wine editor Megan Krigbaum. Plus, “it’s very appropriate; he picked French winemakers making wine in the United States for this dinner.” Let’s take a closer look at each choice:

Sparkling Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay from Monticello in Virginia: “Thibaut is delicious,” says Krigbaum. “It’s light on its feet and it’s bright; it’s a good aperitif, but it also goes really well with food.” Its maker used to produce classic Champagne in the Champagne region, which explains how he’s able to make such exceptional wine in Virginia. “It might be cheap, but that’s not a bad step at all!”

Morlet La Proportion Doree 2011 from the Napa Valley in California: Luc Morlet “is an incredible French winemaker, from the Champagne region, who’s been in the U.S. for a while now,” says Krigbaum. “I’m surprised it was that inexpensive!”

Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009 from Columbia Valley, Washington: Gilles Nicault is a winemaker originally from southern France, and Krigbaum says this is “a really a delicious Washington red blend from a cool project called Long Shadows.”

So there’s poetry, here. “It was chosen with a really specific outlook, says Krigbaum. “He’s saying, ‘These are wines made by your people!’ It’s really cool.”

[Washington Examiner via The Drinks Business]