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The White House’s Philosophy of Wine

Daniel Shanks, Head Usher at the White House, explains our nation’s Capitol residence’s philosophy of wine:

‘’A perfectly aged Cabernet may be great in a glass,” says Daniel Shanks, “but it can’t stand up to the intense atmosphere of a White House state dinner. You have to have something with youth and vigor. Shank goes on to note that wine plays an important role in the White House: “A state dinner isn’t about food and wine, its bonding time,” he says. “A country or issue is driving it, and the wine has to augment that.” Only U.S. wines are served at all events, a policy since the Carter administration, and the wines selected must bring a sense of “presence” when they are paired with food. In fact, Shank’s aim is to “showcase where American wines are going, not where they’ve been.”


 

Hagafen Wines at the White House: 35 years & counting

 

September 9th, 1981: 1980 Hagafen Winery Lake Johannesburg Riesling
         For President Reagan and Israeli Prime Minister Begin

November 10th, 1987: 1984 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Reagan and Israeli President Herzog

April 6th, 1989: 1988 Hagafen Johannesburg Riesling and 1988 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Reagan and Israeli Prime Minister Shamir

July 25th, 1994: 1988 Hagafen Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
         For President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, and King Hussein of Jordan

September 28th, 1995: 1991 Hagafen Reserve Chardonnay
         For president Clinton, Vice President Gore, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Peres, Chairman Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan, and Egyptian President Mubarak

December 12th, 1995: 1991 Hagafen Chardonnay and 1989 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon
         For President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Peres

November 21st, 1997: 1995 Hagafen Chardonnay
         In honor of the presentation of the Rabin-Peres Peace Prize

July 18th, 1999: 1997 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Barak

May 31st, 2001: 1999 Hagafen Chardonnay and 1999 Hagafen Pinot Noir
         For President Bush and Israeli President Katsav

June 11th, 2003: 2000 Hagafen Chardonnay and 2000 Hagafen Pinot Noir
         For the Anne Frank Dinner

July 29th, 2003: 2000 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon

April 14th, 2004: 2000 Hagafen Chardonnay and 2000 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon
         For President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister  Sharon

December 6th, 2005: 2004 Hagafen Chardonnay and 2004 Hagafen Pinot Noir
         For President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s White House Holiday Party

May 23rd, 2006: 2004 Hagafen Pinot Noir
         For President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert

June 19th, 2007: 2004 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert

March 7th, 2008: 2006 Hagafen Chardonnay and 2005 Hagafen Pinot Noir
         For President Bush and Former US Ambassador to Italy Mel Sembler

April 8th, 2009: 2005 Prix Reserve Syrah
         For President Obama’s historical, first-ever White House Seder

May 18th, 2009: 2006 Prix Reserve Chardonnay
         For President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu

March 29th, 2010: 2005 Prix Reserve Syrah
         For the second annual White House Seder

May 27th, 2010: 2007 Hagafen Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine
         For the Jewish American Heritage Month Reception

July 6th, 2010: 2008 Hagafen Chardonnay
         For President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

June 13th, 2012: 2010 Hagafen Roussanne and 2008 Hagafen Pinot Noir
            For the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony for Israeli President Shimon Peres