Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A White House whitewash.

When British Prime Mininster David Cameron sits down to break bread with the American President, at a state dinner in Washington DC this evening, we the people will have no clue as to what wines are paired with each course.
At a time when the entire US economy is suffering, not just the sales of domestic wines, the White House has decided to forgo the long tradition of disclosing the identities of the wines that are served at state dinners, including those that will be poured at tonight's repast.  Instead, the menu details released to the press simply stated "an American wine will be paired with each course." Rather than using this occasion to showcase American wineries, agriculture and the inherent tourism that goes along with the wine industry, the current administration has decided to keep mum as it does not want to be seen as elitist, or insensitive to the plight of the average American.  Let's not forget that in 2011 grape sales alone in the Napa Valley amounted to some $412,000,000 - that's a huge injection of dead presidents into the economy.  By pandering to the pressure of those who perceive a state dinner as a snobby, let them eat cake moment (paired with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, perhaps?), the White House has deprived individual US vintners of a valuable marketing opportunity to promote those wines chosen.
Elitist?  Well I know that I, for one, cannot afford to buy a $400 bottle of wine, but somebody can.  And that somebody is instrumental in keeping thousands of Americans (and foreign nationals, e.g. me) employed in the Napa Valley's wine industry alone.
Selective transparency at it's best.  Clear as mud!

13 comments:

Thud said...

You sound like me but with less swearing.

Thomas said...

I have no idea why the decision was made, but I like the break from constant marketing in America, not to mention a break, too, from the celebrity culture.

FYI: the Finger Lakes is experiencing the possibility of a March bud break, and in this part of the world that is viewed as a threat.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: I have great self control :)

Thomas: Marketing is a great thing, keeps us all in the consumer loop, and a funny thing - we can use our personal on/off buttons to ignore marketing at our leisure. Can't remember what website I was on the other day but a certain author's 'Idiot's Guide' popped up in the left hand column...I already own it, so I didn't purchase it, but I appreciated Alpha's marketing efforts.

Bet that makes you glad you don't farm grapes any longer!

Thomas said...

Vinogirl,

Marketing has its place, but I don't think it is the President's residence...

Re, the grapes: the other day a winery owner asked me if I was glad that I don't grow grapes. He is scared. Today, we are in the 70s--been like this all week, and more to come.

We have yet to see that regular winter storm, and that's why people are scared.

Thomas said...

Oh, and tell Alpha I said thanks. Maybe soon I'll see royalties from that thing.

Vinogirl said...

I think the President has the perfect platform from which to showcase, especially to a visiting foreign dignitary, the outstanding accomplishments of a particular home grown industry - one that is a worldwide recognised brand (the Napa Valley springs to mind, dunno why). The President's residence, payed for by US tax payers (and foreign, tax paying, nationals e.g. me) is the perfect place to promote American industry. Product placement at it's best.
We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Thomas said...

We kind of agree, but I believe by serving the wine to dignitaries, the President is promoting it.

I'm told that every time one of the wines has been mentioned in the press, its sales soared, and in some cases, its price magically rose while its availability became an issue. I believe that's the only reason the press mentions the wine in the first place.

Vinogirl said...

It's a moot point now anyway, seeing as the wines have been revealed;

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/03/16/state-dinner-wines-revealed/#ixzz1pIT2std8

NHwineman said...

Vinogirl, first visit, and I'm soooo impressed with your style; I've had a chance to read a couple of your posts, but your iconoclasm in California 'currency' has peaked my interest almost as much as the intense passion for wine. I think that your perspective sets you apart.
"I'll be bauck!"
Dennis

Vinogirl said...

Thanks NHwineman and welcome to Vinsanity.

phlegmfatale said...

Amen on this post. This administration's lack of a competent protocol secretary is evident in the unconscionable courtesies the President has given to foreign dignitaries and royalty, when they have extended gifts of profound and historic significance. He gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod containing recordings of his speeches. What an embarrassment. In light of the repeated breaches of etiquette when under the glare of the international spotlight, I would not expect him to be any more conscientious or responsible to the constituents here at home. I do reserve the right, however, to bellyache about it, and like Thud, I reserve the right to swear early and swear often about same.

phlegmfatale said...

When I told Himself about this story and said the dishes would be paired with "a selection of American wines" he said "Bartles and James? Boone's Farm? Mad Dog 20/20?" I said "nu-unh. Thunderbird."

Vinogirl said...

Phlegmmy, don't get me started again :)