In another Winegoggle exclusive, President Barack Obama talks about wine, women and wrongs.
Winegoggle:,It was very easy to set this interview up, I mean, I showed my passport, press-card and walked through.
Barack Obama:, But you’re an African, Brother! Step right in. And I’d rather chew the fat with you than one of those shiny despots north of where you’re from. Man I’m glad my father fled from those dudes…So what’s up?
WG: Mister President, you caused quite a stir in the South African wine industry when you ordered one of our sparkling wines after winning last year’s election.
BO: O, the Graham Beck. I’ve always been amazed by the influence of lime-rich, chalky soils on certain clones of Chardonnay. I don’t know what the rest of the sparkling wines from the Robertson region are like, but the breadth of flavours in the Graham Beck Brut are astounding. I’ve also had the Blanc de Blancs, which is hell-of-a intense.
WG: Where did you get to learn about wine?
BO: My old man kind of liked the bottle, found solace in it while herding goats. And kept right on going when he hit the States. So my initial impressions were not that favourable. But I learnt to like wine in college, and then when I hit Chicago you couldn’t get any politician to listen to you without a bottle of Screaming Eagle on the table.
WG: Any personal styles of wine you prefer?
BO: As mentioned, I’m a chardonnay nut, and if I wasn’t President I’d have to say that here in the States we know diddly squat about this variety. Burgundy will always be king ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and none of that flirtatious Chablis nonsense. Big wood, honey, grilled nuts….go Montrachet or Go Home. You guys in South Africa make some good stuff, as do Australia en New Zealand. But when I retire as President I’m going to find out what the hell is happening in the States that we can’t get good Chardonnay.
WG: In South Africa the wine fraternity was pretty chuffed that you toasted your victory with our wine. Are you keeping some South African wine in the White House.
BO: Jefferson put an end to that, unfortunately. We’re only allowed to stock American wine in our cellar, so the old palate is getting a bit jaded. No French. None of the Riojas I like so much. No damn New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc either. We only drink American wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ no wonder Ted Kennedy (God Bless Him) keeled over during my inauguration lunch. American Pinot Noir just does not have the phenolic spectrum to do justice to the grape’s inherent aromatic delicacies. If we were England, it would be okay. They don’t make wine, so the Queen can get someone like Jancis Robinson to stock her cellar. Here in the White House we just call Reggie’s and ask them to bring any local grog they’ve got.
WG: So how do you pursue your interest in wine if you are limited to American?
BO: I read a hell of a lot ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ why do you think my belly is so flat? From reading Jancis Robinson’s books in bed. I’m a huge Parker fan, and not only because he’s 100% American. He knows his stuff, but I think I could give him a go with Chardonnay. And o yes, you guys in South Africa do a lot of writing on wine, especially on-line. But mainly I plan my foreign trips around my wine moods. That’s why I dig France, of course. Sitting at a banquet in Paris sipping Cheval Blanc ’71 is quite cool ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ especially as I get to sit opposite Mrs Sarkozy. Are we talking Babe Central, or what?
WG: You’d enjoy South Africa…
BO: For the Babes?
WG: That too, but the wine..
BO: I’m sure I would. Hillary (Clinton) was out that way recently and bought me back a real cool bottle of something you guys call Pinot Tag….
BO: Exactly. The label had a Civil War canon on it. Actually, I bent the rules a bit and drank it at a barbecue out in Hawaii over summer. It was really good.
WG: It must have been Kanonkop.
BO: That’s it. Yeah. Unique in flavour, fruity but serious, with a slight toastiness from new barrels, and supple tannins. The vines must be quite old, ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëcause there’s none of that aggressive abrasiveness and floating acidity you find from young vines.
WG: So no visit on the cards?
BO: There’s that soccer world cup gig next year, so I might swing by. I’ll buy you a glass of wine at the opening game, how’s that?
WG: No can do, Mister President. The sponsors won’t allow it.
BO: Which sponsor.
WG: Budweiser beer, sir.
BO: Bastards. I thought you guys had a constitution?
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