Choosing wines to serve honored guests is seldom simple, especially if you’re the President of the United States of America. At his June 7-8 summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, President Obama served the 2004 Chinese Cuvée from Iron Horse Vineyards. This was a particularly astute selection, since the Chinese Cuvée was created to celebrate the current Year of the Snake. And because the Chinese zodiac consists of a twelve-year cycle, this means that 1953, the year that Xi Jinping was born, was also a Year of the Snake.
This was not the first time, however, that the Chinese Cuvée had been served to Xi Jinping. Vice President Joe Biden toasted him with it at a State Department luncheon on February 14, 2012. According to Iron Horse Vineyards’s website, their sparkling wines “have been served at the White House for the past five consecutive presidential administrations, beginning with the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings, which lead to the end of the Cold War.”