Sonoma Scores

Revealed! White House serves up Sonoma, Walla Walla wines at state dinner

If you want a small reveal of President Obama’s palate then we’ve finally got it. Clue: look West and you’d be off to a good start.

Clinton Stark
03.16.2012 | View Comments

President Obama state dinner with British Prime Minister David CameronFirst off, Eric Levine, he of CellarTracker fame, had dinner with the President at the White House?!

Impressive (and deserving) for a guy who’s built the go-to web site for wine tasting notes, but that’s not the only reason why this short piece from BusinessWeek caught my eye. If you want a small reveal of President Obama’s palate then we’ve finally got it. Clue: look West and you’d be off to a good start.

This particular state dinner featured two wines from Sonoma and one from Walla Walla. I guess the President’s somm didn’t quite have the gusto to reach for a bottle of Dana Estates Cab (we’ll need a tax increase first to bolster the vino budget line item).

The BW article cites CellarTracker as breaking this tannin-free story. And the wine list looked like this:

A 2009 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille, Sonoma County, California (~ $97)

A 2008 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington ($97)

And — Joy, eternal White House fav — Iron Horse Vineyards sparkling wine, Sonoma County, California (Priceless, of course)

I’m telling you, once again, Chard and Cab are the good ones; esoteric grapes be damned. It’s like football fundamentals. Run well, pass well. Chard well, Cab well.

Amazingly, there was nary a bottle of Toasted Head in sight. And it was probably wise to avoid the insta-Zombie that comes with Petite Sirah. I’m sure the Brits would not be amused.

[Eric's tasting notes, with state dinner menu, from CellarTracker]

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Clinton Stark
Clint writes about Silicon Valley (Churchill Club Academy member), film, California wine, theater (ATCA member) and tech including his trusty Canon EOS 70D and, much to his wife's chagrin, his new Pebble smartwatch. A would-be NHLer if it weren't for the clarinet, he tries in vain to direct Loni on Stark Insider TV. He's held executive marketing roles at Cisco, EMC and, and is active with start-ups across the valley. Clint's story...