Friday, November 16, 2012

Bipartisan Birthday Treat: President Obama Gifts Speaker Boehner With Bottle Of Tuscan Wine

After fiscal cliff talks, a pricey bottle...  
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) marks his 63rd birthday on Saturday, and President Obama has given him a special gift:  An expensive bottle of red wine from the Tuscany region of Italy.  By tradition, only American wines are served at White House social events, so the President's gift of a vintage 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Altero from Poggio Antico vineyard in Siena may have required more than a simple trip to the wine cellar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  If it can be found, the intense and fruity red wine retails for about $125.00.

The President met with Boehner at the White House on Thursday as Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle gathered for a discussion on taxes and the economy (in photo at top).

On Friday, Boehner's press secretary, Brendan Buck, tweeted the photo, above, of the President's wine gift, writing "Obama birthday gift to Boehner."

"My understanding is tomorrow is Speaker Boehner’s birthday," President Obama said during a photo op with Boehner and the other leaders before the start of Thursday's meeting.

"So for those of you who want to wish him happy birthday, we will--we're not going to embarrass him with a cake, because we didn’t know how many candles were needed."

"Yeah, right," Boehner replied, giving the President a friendly elbow.  President Obama is known for making presentations of birthday cake to dignitaries, staff, and journalists.

Poggio Antico describes the wine as "typically deep and intense ruby red in color. The bouquet is well developed and persistent, and increases in intensity with further bottle aging. It has a very clean nose, with hints of blackberry and licorice. In the mouth it is rounded and concentrated, with great vitality, yet elegant and harmonious, thanks to the particularly sweet tannins. It has a very long finish and ages gracefully under proper conditions."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were also at Thursday's meeting, which lasted a little more than an hour.

*Top photo by pool; wine photo by Brendan Buck