For a teetotaler with a well-documented love of Diet Coke & chewy steak, Donald Trump’s first ever state dinner featured some pretty good wines—and none of them were from his Virginia winery.
Served in honor of French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, the three-course dinner included wine pairings from Oregon and California (sorry, Finger Lakes—maybe next state dinner!), paired with seasonal dishes that nodded to America’s rich culinary traditions and, of course, the country’s long-standing relationship with France.
The 2015 Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve,” grown on French clones in the Oregon’s Dundee Hills, was paired with a baby lettuce salad with tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles, and a goat cheese gateau. For the entrée, which featured a spring lamb with jambalaya and a burnt-onion soubise, the 2014 “Laurène” Pinot Noir from Domaine Drouhin was earthy, balanced, and probably more elegant than anyone expected from the kitchen of an administration headed by devotee of McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish. (But then again, the French were in town, so any chef worth their salt, such as longtime White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford, would bring their A-game.)
In any case, Napa’s Schramsberg Crémant Demi-Sec nade a delightfully fresh and fizzy counterpoint to the dinner’s finale, a nectarine tart served with crème fraiche ice cream.
White House insiders suspect First Lady Melania’s design background had some input. The dinner seems to have been a hit, with reports of a “blossoming bromance” between Trump and Macron.
Maybe it had something to do with the wine.