Published March 16, 2012
The big secret is out about which wines were served at the state dinner honoring British Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday, thanks to a wine blogger and guest who revealed the pours--and even gave tasting notes on each.
Eric LeVine founder of CellarTracker, an online wine cellar, wrote on his blog about the wines and posted a photo on the dinner menu, which included the wines. The version of the menu publicly released by the White House only stated that American wines would be paired with each course.
Wine served included:
-2009 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille, Sonoma Valley, California (average price about $97)
LeVine's notes on this, which was served with Crisped Halibut with Potato Crust, included: "Prototypical Cali Chard. Lots of toasted marshmallow and vanilla but with nice, acidic notes of lemon curd to keep it reasonably refreshing."
-2008 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley, Washington (average price $90)
LeVine's notes on this, which was served with the main course Bison Wellington, included: "Chunky, black fruit moving to a somewhat tart and spiky finish. With the red wine reduction and the bison it rounded out pretty well. On its own it is not so civilized yet at this stage."
-2007 Iron Horse Vineyards Russian Cuvée (average price about $30)
LeVine's notes on this, which was served with a Steamed Lemon Pudding, included: "Clean but a bit lost with the lemon pudding dessert. It was a nice idea but a tough pairing to really appreciate."
The White House stopped disclosing the names and vintage of the wines served at state dinners after the Jan. 19, 2011, dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. Some criticized the White House for serving wine as much as $399 a bottle, Bloomberg News reported.
So how was it that LeVine was even at the state dinner? He came with his wife, Suzi LeVine, who works for Microsoft in Washington state and raised money for the Obama campaign.
“My wife is a rockstar. I tagged along,” LeVine wrote.