California wines for Obama’s inauguration – and thoughts about wine at the White House

I have to say that Americans sure know how to throw a big party. Case in point, Barack Obama’s inauguration, which is drawing an incredible line-up of artists over these few days, and millions of people in tow, to witness this historic occasion.

It may be presumed that, at some of these functions, wine will be served.

Actually, it is certain that wine will be served, including three California wines at the Inaugural Luncheon, served for the new president, the vice-president, their wives, and 200 other members of Washington’s who’s who, in the Hall of the Capitol.

In honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, (more…)

How on Earth Did I Forget About Italy?

For some odd reason, I haven’t written a single post about Italy, since I started this blog last July. I can’t explain why. I drink them regularly and enjoy them greatly Better yet, when I don’t know which wine I’d like to drink, my almost automatic choice is to go for an Italian wine.

This realization (about my unintentional un-Italian blog bias) dawned on me as I was drinking a delicious bottle of 1997 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva. From a fantastic vintage, it was just ripe and nicely opened up, with a great garnet color, bright aromas and flavors of cherry, cedar and cigar box, as well as those velvety yet firm tannins and astringent finals. Not terribly complex, but everything I expect from good sangiovese.

Italian wines from indigenous grapes like (more…)