With all the reporters in the room at the White House Correspondents Dinner, you’d think we would’ve known what wines were on the menu much sooner than we did. But it was all about arrivals and pre-parties without any mention of grapes. Clearly everyone was feeling very off duty.
But finally we got a tweet about what wines were on the table, followed by a few shots of the menu for full confirmation.
Chardonnay and Cabernet – snore. It’s about as unimaginative as you can get, although I will say that they were good choices for the dishes so I can’t knock them too much. A round Chardonnay would do well with the pear and complement the creaminess of the cheese. Again, not an imaginative pairing (people often pair a sweeter wine like Sauternes with blue cheese, but I doubt that would go over well and definitely wouldn’t sustain through the rest of the meal). As for Cab, that’s always a good choice for meat. Crab cakes not so much, but to pair a wine with both steak and crab cakes would be near impossible, unless you just drink Champagne which goes with everything.
Speaking of Champagne, they did have some on the tables and it looks like Moet.
And of course, then came a little griping about politicians knocking back expensive wine while people can’t pay their bills. The Franciscan Chardonnay is $18 and the Simi Cab is $25, so calm down. That’s maybe a few bucks higher than what they’d serve at an open bar at some other huge event, but probably pretty in line with what they pour out for any decent dinner.
Then this weird thing came along. Apparently, you could buy other wine at the table if the Franciscan and Simi weren’t good enough for you. Really??? First, these wines aren’t that much better than the Franciscan and the Simi. Second, I’d be surprised (though happy) if the people at the White House dinner cared enough about wine (and also had a free-range expense account) to ditch what was free on the table and had to go off the menu.
The wines are all fine and predominantly American which makes sense, but not sure I get the point since they’re all sort of in the same price range.
And now, a few new grapefriends to add to our list:
— MacKenzie McHale (@MackMcHaleACN) May 4, 2014
This owner dude wasted no time grabbing the Cab:
And I don’t know who this woman is, but I like that the wine was on every table and fully ready to roll before people sat down. Good service.