When it comes to wines at White House state dinners, cost typically isn't an issue.
One go-to vino maker for years has been Peter Michael, which sells many reds for between $100 and $200. When President Obama hosted China's president, he uncorked a $115 Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon. Mexico's president drank a $70 Valdez Family Winery Silver Eagle Vineyard Chardonnay at another Obama dinner. Former President George W. Bush served former French President Nicolas Sarkozy a $100-a-bottle 2004 Dominus cabernet blend.
But for Tuesday night’s dinner with French President François Hollande, it seems the White House is going the Costco route. Together, the three wines being offered cost a total of $125 and the president might get off with a bar tab of just $4,000.
That’s not to take away from the choices. All come with highly favorable reviews. The Morlet "La Proportion Doree" 2011, $45, gets 95 of 100 points. The Washington state Chester - Kidder Red Blend 2009, $49.99, won 92 points. And the go-to dessert wine from Monticello, Va., Washington Thibaut-Janisson "Blanc de Chardonnay," is $30 and rates well.
But typically the main red comes in at a bigger price, especially when the French are in town.
At least the White House has stopped hiding the names of the wines, which it started doing after Obama's first three state dinners, according to Bloomberg Luxury.
American Osetra caviar
Fingerling potato velouté, quail eggs, crisped chive potatoes
“The Winter Garden Salad”
Petite mixed radish, baby carrots, merlot lettuce
Red wine vinaigrette
Dry-aged rib eye beef
Jasper Hill Farm blue cheese, charred shallots, oyster
Mushrooms, braised chard
Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache
Vanilla ice cream and tangerines
Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011 Napa Valley, California
Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009 Columbia Valley, Washington
Thibaut-Janisson “Blanc de Chardonnay” Monticello, VirginiaPaul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.