Wine: The New State Secret

Margaret Talev


Traditionally, the White House has announced which wines it pours at state dinners, a kind of plug for American vineyards. Then last year, President Obama served Chinese President Hu Jintao a bottle from the Quilceda Creek vineyard in Washington State that retailed for up to $399. The press noticed, and the disclosures stopped. The White House didn’t say which wines it served German Chancellor Angela Merkel last June, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak last October, or British Prime Minister David Cameron on March 14, and won’t comment on why it ended the practice. A look at what was uncorked for Hu:

Given the U.S. debt held by China, Stephen Colbert said the Hu dinner “should have been a sweatpants-potluck with box wine and a sleeve of Oreos”

Average price on March 14

$284 750ml

The offending wine has a rare 100-point rating from critic Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

$48 375ml

$58 750ml

“Our sales in China quadrupled afterward,” says vintner Kerry Murphy



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