What do world leaders get to imbibe at the White House in these last days of the Bush presidency?
To look at the menu for the G20 financial-crisis dinner held on November 14, 2008 at the White House, you wouldn’t even guess that world leaders flew in to discuss the economic woes of the world — and swilled wine to the tune of $500 a bottle for the main course. Shafer Cabernet Hillside Select 2003.* Pretty exclusive. And the chanterelles don’t exactly come cheap either — they weigh in at about $24 per pound.
Presidents must pay for their own groceries — and they have since the early days at the white mansion, BUT when dinners like this one take place, the taxpayer ponies up the cash:
Fruitwood-smoked Quail with Quince Gastrique
Landmark Chardonnay Damaris Reserve 2006 ($40 a bottle)
Thyme-roasted Rack of Lamb
Tomato, Fennel and Eggplant Fondue
Shafer Cabernet Hillside Select 2003 ($500 a bottle … )
Lolla Rosa, Red Oak and Endive
Baked Vermont Brie with Walnut Crostini
Chandon Etoile Rose ($30 a bottle)
A very French menu, with the requisite vegetarian offerings — quinoa risotto and tomato/fennel/eggplant fondue.
A question you might have — what is “Lolla Rosa?” It’s the “radicchio of lettuce,” a milder (thank goodness) version of traditionally bitter radicchio.
At best we can hope that solutions for the global financial crisis flowed as easily as did the wine …
*The price for this wine varies, ranging from $219 a bottle on the Internet to $800 a bottle in New York City. Even if it sells for “only” $219 a bottle, whew, that’s still a lot of money. Too bad it all gets pissed away.
© 2008 C. Bertelsen