Thursday, January 20, 2011

President Obama Serves a “German” Riesling at State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao

Pictures: Official Picture of President Obama and First Lady Michelle with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House in Washington DC and German Winemaker Armin Diel in Berlin

President Obama and First Lady Michelle honored Chinese President Hu Jintao with a State Dinner on Wednesday, Janaury 15 in the White House. The 225 guests were scattered in three rooms in the White House: Blue, Red, State, with the presidents eating in the State Dining room seated in a long table seating 20. Three wines were served, including a late harvest wine from Washington State, produced in a joint venture with German star wine maker Armin Diel.

Unlike the other state dinners in the Obama White House, this time there was no guest chef, with White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford in charge. He created a "quintissentially American" state dinner menu for Chinese president Hu Jintao at the request of his delegation, the Blog Obama Foodorama reports.

The entertainment was provided by Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Lang Lang, Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

The Menu

D'Anjou Pear Salad with Farmstead Goat Cheese
Fennel, black walnuts and white balsamic

Poached Maine Lobster, Orange glaze carrots and black trumpet mushrooms
wine--DuMOL Chardonnay "Russian River" 2008

Lemon sorbet

Dry aged rib eye with buttermilk crisp onions
Double stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach
wine--Quilceda Creek Cabernet "Columbia Valley" 2005

Old fashioned apple pie with vanilla ice cream
wine-- Poet's Leap Riesling "botrytis" 2008

The Wines

DuMOL Chardonnay "Russian River" 2008

DuMOL is a biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard located on 30 acres of east-facing slopes within the cool Green Valley sub-appellation of Sonoma’s historic Russian River Valley. Founded 1996, DuMOL produces a stellar lineup of highly-acclaimed Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. Partners Kerry Murphy, Andy Smith and Michael Verlander prefer to lead a low profile and let their wines speak for themselves. Their newly constructed, state-of-the-art wine making facility is powered by the sun.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet "Columbia Valley" 2005

Quilceda Creek is a boutique winery dedicated exclusively to the production of world-class Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon. Founded in 1979 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin, Quilceda Creek has had an unbroken string of highly-rated vintages that has led Robert Parker Jr. to name it Washington State's premier Cabernet Sauvignon producer. Although the winery facility is located west of the Cascade Range, the winery sources all of its grapes from six vineyards in eastern Washington.

Poet's Leap Riesling "botrytis", Long Shadows and Diel Estate 2008

Long Shadows has become, in a short time, one of the premier wineries in Washington State . It is an unusual set up. Former Stimson-Lane CEO Allen Shoup works with renowned winemakers from around the world for this venture. Each winemaker creates a single wine using Washington fruit. Add resident winemaker Gilles Nicault to shepherd all of the wines along.

The Poet’s Leap Riesling is made by Armin Diel, one of Germany’s most highly regarded Riesling producers. I met Armin recently in Berlin. His family has owned the celebrated estate of Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen in the Nahe river valley since 1802. Schlossgut Diel is international renowned for its white wines, predominately Rieslings, across a wide range of styles. Armin Diel is also one of Germany’s leading wine writers. Armin and his wife Monika live in Burg Layen. Their daughter Caroline just completed her studies in enology in Geisenheim,Germany’s UC Davis equivalent, and is now co-managing the winery in the Nahe valley.

Developing noble rot (botrytis) in Washington is not easy and Gilles Nicault and Armin Diel have only been able to make this wine in one previous vintage (2005). It’s fermented with Sauternes yeasts, and the fermentation is long and cool to maintain freshness and vibrancy. The acids in the 2008 white are perfect to balance all that delicious residual sugar.

I have reported about the Poet's Leap Riesling here.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Wine ratings: Two American/German wines - Eroica and Poet's Leap - on Top 100 Wines from Washington State list for 2009

Germany's Grosses Gewaechs Wines - Premiere 2010 in Berlin

Aging Potential of Riesling – A Wine Tasting at the 1st International Riesling Symposium in Germany Led by Jancis Robinson

The Wines Served at President Obama's State Dinner for Mexican President Calderon

Wine event: The Wines at the 2009 Nobel Peace Price Banquet in Honor of President Obama.

Wine Event: The Wines served at President's Obama State Dinner of the Indian Prime Minister

Wine Event: Wines served at the 2009 Nobel Prize Banquet in Stockholm

Wine Event: President Obama and the First Lady eat at the "Green" Restaurant Nora and have a "Green" Spottswoode Wine

Benzinger Wines Served at the "Green" 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner


  1. Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,liebe Freunde von Schlossgut Diel!

    In Deutschland ist bislang wenig bekannt, dass ich seit dem Jahr 2003 Partner eines sehr spannenden Wein-Projektes im Staat Washington im Nordosten der Vereinigten Staaten bin. Mehr Informationen hierüber finden Sie in den beigefügten Dateien.

    Aus aktuellem Anlass erlaube ich mir auf die nachfolgende Veröffentlichung in Dr. Christian
    Schillers „Wine World“ hinzuweisen: Vor wenigen Tagen empfing der amerikanische Präsident Barack Obama den Chinesischen Präsident Hu Jintao. Beim abendlichen Festdinner im Weißen Haus wurde der 2008 Poet´s Leap „Botrytis“ serviert, ein ganz besonderer edelsüßer Riesling, den wir in Washington zuvor nur einmal im Jahr 2005 erzeugen konnten.

    Mit sehr freundlichen Grüßen

    Armin Diel
    Schlossgut Diel
    Burg Layen D 55452 Rümmelsheim
    Tel: +49 (0) 67 21 – 96 95 - 0 DW – 11 Fax: +49 (0) 67 21 – 96 95 94

  2. What a success for Armin Diel to serve a noble Riesling at White House. Congratulations! And thanks to President Obama, that he is open to special wines far away from mainstream.
    Cheers Chris