Northside SF  

October '09

Wine Report from the Fort
Happy birthday U.S.! Wines of our presidents

By Fred McMillin

President James K. Polk would have
enjoyed the Ports made by Deaver
Vineyards in the Sierra foothills
President Washington: George Washington was not only first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was also the first president to plant a vineyard … 2,000 vines went into the ground in 1786. Later, with others, he hired an Italian winegrower to bring in Italian vines and make Italian-style wines. To hoist a toast to our first president, use this wine, also made from Italian varietals grown in the United States:
• Bargetto Winery Santa Cruz Mountains “La Vita” (red blend) 2004, $60

President Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson had planted some Chardonnay grapes in his Monticello vineyard. When in Burgundy in 1787, he noted the high quality of white wine from the Chardonnay vines there. So toast to Jefferson with a Chardonnay like this:
• Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay 2007, $11.50

President Eisenhower: At a White House dinner on February 24, 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower served a pink wine with broiled sirloin steaks and sautéed mushrooms.

Also, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower served pink wine at the annual White House Cabinet ladies’ luncheon and also at a luncheon honoring Indira Ghandi of India. So toast the Eisenhowers with a pink wine like this:

• Pedroncelli Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Dry Rosé of Zinfandel 2009, $10
President Reagan: While in the White House, Ronald Reagan served a Schramsberg sparkling wine. So toast to Reagan with any Schramsberg sparkler like this:

• J. Schram Schramsberg North Coast 2001, $100
President Obama: Barack Obama served this Riesling with red lentil soup and fresh cheese. So toast Obama with:

• Brooks Winery Willamette Valley “Ara” Riesling 2007, $20Text Box:  

Did you know?
President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson: Both enjoyed Muscat wine. Your toast:
• Woodbridge California Muscato 2008, $8
President Thomas Jefferson
: Enjoyed wines containing the Roussanne varietal. Your toast:
• Writer’s Block Lake County Roussanne 2007, $16

President James K. Polk
: Enjoyed Port. Your toast:
• Deaver Vineyards Amador County Syrah Port NV, $25

President Abraham Lincoln
: Mary Todd Lincoln broke tradition by serving an American wine made from the Norton grape at official White House meals. Your toast:
• St. James Winery Ozark Highlands Norton 2005, $12

President William Clinton:
Served Iron Horse Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine. Your toast:
• Iron Horse Green Valley Blanc de Blancs 2004, $38

President George Herbert Walker Bush
: Served Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon. Your toast:
• Clos Pegase Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, $43Text Box:  

Seating is limited, but learning isn’t …
when you go to Fort Mason and take a wine class. Saturdays, 1 p.m.:
• July 10: Sonoma vs. Napa – A careful comparison of Napa wines with their Sonoma counterparts.
• July 17: Basics for Beginners – Includes a careful comparison of important varietals.
• July 24: Taste the Terms – Taste wines that illustrate the 100-plus terms used to describe it. More people take terms over again because the wines and terms are different each time.
• July 31: California vs. the World – France, Italy, and others compared to Golden State wines of the same vintage. Past sessions have included $30 Chardonnays and $50 to
$75 Cabs.
• Aug. 28: Basics for Beginners – Learn the five basic types of wines and how they are made.
To enroll or wait list, phone San Francisco City College at 415-561-1840, or visit
Services Continuing_Education.

A final wine smile
Some years ago I worked for
Dr. Bob Kozlowski, winemaker for Kenwood Vineyards. One day he came in with a huge smile on his face, so I asked the reason. The answer? The White House had ordered several cases of his pioneering dry Chenin Blanc.

Credits: Edgar Vogt (tastings); Ophelia Mercado (statistics)

Fred McMillin was voted one of the best wine writers in the United States by the Academy of Wine Communications. Phone him with questions at 415-563-5712 or fax him at 415-567-4468.

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