When British Prime Minister David Cameron visits President Barack Obama this week, one detail may stay bottled up: the labels on the wines the White House pours at the state dinner tomorrow night.
For Obama’s first three state dinners, honoring the leaders of India, Mexico and China, the White House released the name, year and appellation of wines — all-American — paired with each course.
Part of a tradition observed by previous presidents, including George W. Bush, that disclosure stopped after Obama’s dinner last year for Chinese President Hu Jintao. One of the wines served on Jan. 19, 2011, was a top-rated 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state that originally sold for $115 a bottle and went for as much as $399 by the time of the dinner. The price the White House paid per bottle was not made public.
At the next state dinner, on June 7, 2011, for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the menu made public by the White House didn’t include details on the wines.
It’s national sunshine day, or week, or something. In order to celebrate the White House decided that it was releasing too much information, a/k/a not sending the right kind of message in these tough economic times, when it came to the wine list.