Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP Photo
On Presidents Day this year, we fully expect a little bit of imbibing to take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Every U.S. president has had his vice -- James Buchanan would reportedly trek to a distillery each Sunday to purchase a gallon-sized jug of whiskey. It's also been reported that JFK did not serve lemonade, water, or even beer, aboard the presidential yacht -- instead, he turned to daiquiris.
And Barack Obama is no exception. On the heels of his "beer summit" in July 2009 where he chugged mugs of beer with two others on the Rose Garden patio, and following White House tradition, he and Michelle ensure that flutes of Domaine Chandon's sparkling wine (Blanc de Noirs, $22) are poured at all state dinners and other White House receptions.
A bit about this wine: Made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, it's a festive, salmon color. Just like the pretty, wallet-friendly dresses that Michelle is famous for -- recently she wore a $35 H&M dress to an appearance on "The Today Show" -- it's an affordable pick that does not compromise on quality.
This wine has actually been poured inside the White House since the Yountville, California, winery -- established by French Champange house Moet & Chandon -- debuted in 1973. They are the largest landowner of vineyards in the esteemed Carneros appellation. There have been a few twists, including Michelle Obama serving emerald-green sparkling Chandon to all White House guests in honor of the Prime Minister of Ireland's visit on St. Patrick's Day 2009. (No word on how she got it to go green...)
Even before that, wine was a crucial part of entertaining inside the President's home. When George Washington hosted the first state dinner in May of 1789, wine was poured. Lyndon Johnson expressed patriotism in a new way when he declared during his presidency that only American wines would be served at official White House functions. And first Lady Julia Tyler -- married to John Tyler IV, the 10th U.S. President -- adored her sparkling-wine punch.
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