Saturday, April 18, 2009

White House: American Wine Only?

The theme of the current administration of the White House is "Change." But will President Obama change the wine policy? Though, the question should also be posed, should he change it?

Back under the administration of Lyndon Johnson, it was decreed that only American wines would be served at official dinners and functions. This policy has remained in effect ever since, for over forty years. No matter how much a President might like French Champagne, only American sparkling wines can be served. The basic reason seems to be that such dinners and functions should showcase the best of America, including our wines. Presenting wines from other countries might be seen as a slight of our own wines.

I generally agree that it is probably the best policy to serve American wines at such official dinners and functions. We should be proud of our wine industry. All fifty states now have wineries and plenty of states are producing some very good wines. Let us show the world the quality of the wines we can produce.

But, I also think there might be an occasion where we might want to bend that policy. The policy should not be absolute. It should permit some flexibility. Maybe a visiting dignitary wishes to share a wine from their country. Why not let that wine be served at an official dinner, beside our own American wines? Let us use discretion when following the wine policy.

What do you think?


Maddio said...

I agree. As major a major part of world trade, we should embrace world wines. I think serving American wines for official dinners and functions is a way to demonstrate our pride, however, there may be an occasion where a non-American wine may be more appropriate. The rule should not be hard and fast.

adele said...

Flexibility. The sommelier should consult with the diplomats every once in a while. :P

Michael said...

I agree in American Wine Only at the White House. It showcases what we have to offer to foreign guests, which is a very old tradition. Otherwise, it would be like serving lobster at a Hawaiin to a Boston visitor- wouldn't they prefer local cuisine that is not as usual or fresh, like tuna steak or a luau pig?

Anonymous said...

We import enough stick with our own especially in the white house