Obama gives Boehner a birthday Brunello

At the White House yesterday, our political leaders met to find a way from steering the country over the fiscal cliff.

Even though their positions still seem far apart, the general tone afterward was positive and one of comity (probably better than comedy, in this situation). Setting the mood early, President Obama publicly wished Speaker Boehner a happy birthday before the meeting started. Afterward, Boehner’s aide was seen carrying a wine bottle in a shimmering bag. The Times wrote that Boehner prefers merlot, but that the president gave him a 1997 Brunello, “a pricey Italian red.” Boehner’s aide later tweeted a picture of the 1997 Poggio Antico, “Altero.” (find this wine)

No matter how you look at it, the gesture was very nice. But wine geeks can now parse it for meaning: would a ’97 Barolo have shown hard tannins and indicate the president was digging in his heels? Or is Obama showing the rewards of patience, meaning he’s ready to pop and pour, as it were?

Either way, the gift makes for better diplomacy than giving Boehner some Ding Dongs, which are quickly on their way to becoming collectibles.

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14 Responses to “Obama gives Boehner a birthday Brunello”

  1. Sometimes a Brunello is just a Brunello.

  2. Reminds me of the expensive wine tasting club in DC; http://www.lot18.com/i/expensive-wine-discount-club

  3. […] Obama regala allo speaker un Brunello 1997 Simpatica notizia quella rivelata dal wine writer e wine blogger statunitense Tyler Colman sul suo blog Dr. Vino: il presidente americano Obama ha voluto pubblicamente fare gli auguri di buon compleanno al suo speaker Boehner regalandogli una bottiglia di un vino italiano, di un Brunello di Montalcino esattamente, un Altero 1997 di Poggio Antico. La cosa divertente è leggere che Boehner solitamente preferisce i Merlot: forse Obama tenendo conto di questa cosa avrebbe potuto puntare su qualche altro Brunello di Montalcino del 1997, decisamente più… merlotteggiante… A ll’epoca di quella vendemmia i Brunello diciamo così “creativi” e “personalizzati” ad uso di certa critica non mancavano proprio… Leggete qui […]

  4. No disprespect intended to the Brunello, but with the thousands and thousands of great wines produced in this country, really? An import?

    C’mon Mr. Obama, you promised helping out our domestic economy. (of which US winegrowers are a segment, last I checked….)

  5. Karen is spot on. As a grower vintner fighting our way in the marketplace, this is infuriating. Just a another sign of the man’s cluelessness or less critically, perhaps he is educating the “little man” in the more “sophisticated ways” of the continent. Or maybe…he is just re gifting a bretty bottle??

  6. Maybe the importer was an Obama campaign donor.

  7. I would like to underscore the other commenters assailing Obama’s cluelessness in this gesture. I objected to his candidacy in 2008, on the grounds he was too much of a neophyte to maintain this office, and is it any wonder that he is now the first President ever to be elected to a second term with a DECREASE in his popular vote?

    To no surprise, Obama lacked the temerity in his first term to make the truly gutsy decisions that might have righted the calamitous course we were on; I hold out little hope for rectification in his second administration, either. But this gesture demonstrates once again that here in California, we should be focusing our strengths and resources on an agenda that benefits us as a state and eschew the overarching designs of a Federal system that drains our local tax base while diluting the progressive initiatives, like climate and pollution controls, that we have put into motion (with a statehouse and legislature devoid of bipartisan bickering and the prospect of a budget surplus on the horizon, we may finally have the means to ameliorate for ourselves the dire predicaments we have confronted here since 2001).

    California produces tens of thousands of wines every year; Obama had choices ranging from Two Buck Chuck to $2,000 Screaming Eagle, as well as everything in between. But hey, maybe he thought the chewy tannins of the Brunello might well substitute for his evening dose of Nicorette, and we can always chip in a pack of filterless Gauloises (although I’m sure he smokes American) for Boehner complete his import bliss.

  8. Or it’s the simple fact that Mr. Boehner likes Italian wine and as a gift President Obama got the man something he likes.

    No need to read in too much to this one.

    Great vintage for Tuscany…riper one but without a doubt great.

    The wine should be fantastic.

    Furthermore, if the wine was pulled from the cellar of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave then it was purchased long ago and would have been bought during the tenure of President Bush.

    Pouring at a State Dinner, IMO, is a bit different. Giving a gift, no harm here.

  9. Wine is about enjoying life. That’s it.

  10. Hey, I’m a winegrower and vintner in Sonoma County and I see no problem with the gift–a personal gesture. American wines are well represented at the White House, but there is room for excellent wines from other parts of the world too. I think most vintners have a prized collection of French and Italian wines.

  11. That is a great bottle. Even at 15 years it could probably use decanting to help open it up.

  12. Boehner deserves a Mollydooker.

  13. We all love wine and we all know that Brunello is one of the best wines, c’mon!
    Let’s Vino with us!

  14. I think it’s a great gift and certainly wouldn’t refuse it.


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