Wine Icons: POTUS 44, Barack Obama
When Bloomberg publishes an article about your "Top Secret" wine list, and wine cellar, you are a wine icon. When word gets out about your favorite wine and that causes that wine to go from an unknown quantity to a constantly sold out rarity, you are a wine icon. When you are in the best position to promote the nation's wine industry and share it to the world, you are a wine icon.
So, after twelve years hosting the most amazing state dinners (we are totally dreaming, imagining, and guessing on that one) you have to consider that Barack Obama is a wine icon. For starters you need only look back to his inaugural festivities, where apprently Diane Feinstein helped him choose some amazing California wines across the board. Delectable reds, fantastic white wines, and even a California sparkler from Korbel were on the menu of the day. Whats more, the wines ranged from $14 per bottle to $50 tops. In 2009 when the world was teetering on the brink of economic disaster, it was important for the President not to go over the top with wine. They were definitely the right wines for the occasion, reasonable, sometimes modest, enjoyable, American.
Of course being the President of The United States of America comes with great influence. When you say something, people listen because you command respect. So when POTUS 44 gave a little nod of approval to the Spanish wine making region of Galicia, it caused a huge ripple in the wine market. All of a sudden the relatively unknown, bountiful (if you knew where to look) wine became a rarity as people around the US started scavenging wine aisles. Galicia could not keep up with demand, which may be a good thing. And how did we get this sudden nod of approval from the President? He wanted a wine to serve at an event honoring the Hispanic community.
So now you start to see exactly why Barack Obama is a wine icon. Barack Obama (or those helping him and his wife Michelle with their wine purchases) know exactly what wine means for an occasion. Wine is not just about pairing with food, but can also start to bring further light to an occasion. The right wine is as much of a nod to the occasion, to the people, to the sentiment, and the zeitgeist of a gathering, as it is to the food. It allows you to set the tone, be it one of celebration, remembrance, or honor. That what the President did so well, because the win was a reflection of him, and how in tune he was with what was happening in the world at the time.