Obama White House Wine Service – This White House Cabinet Holds Wine

February 21, 2023 Category :Telemarketing Off

You may recall the smiling photograph of Senator Obama on the campaign trail in North Carolina with his hand wrapped around a cold brew, which raised the question as to whether he was also into wine. People magazine–and by the way, CBS “60 Minutes” through its camera angle that caught a fleeting glimpse of a kitchen wine rack on national television–set that record straight. He drinks wine, which for many oenophiles is as refreshing as news from the Executive Mansion gets these days!

Turns out that the new residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will not be cellar aging wine anytime soon–the subterranean vault installed by our third president for his collection of over a thousand European bottles has long since given way to less romantic rather workaday uses. In its heyday, according to ledgers tucked away in the Library of Congress, the mansion’s dusty cellar enclave was home to some 20,000 bottles (but not all at once) purchased by Thomas Jefferson for entertaining over his two terms. When you consider it was the man not the office that paid the tab–in those days presidents didn’t have expense account budgets–even by today’s standards that’s a downright generous flow of executive cheer.

Jefferson was a social animal. CUNY professor and author John P. Diggins unearthed John Adams’ reaction to his successor’s penchant for entertaining: “I dined a large company once or twice a week. Jefferson dined a dozen every day.” A day’s selection was regularly loaded into dumbwaiters that the ingenious chief executive had designed — allowing bottles to be secreted away out of sight of visiting dignitaries but handy enough to grab at a moment’s notice. Loaded daily with wines removed from the cellar some 16 feet below the east colonnade, White House servants had little reason to intrude on private functions–and privileged executive conversation. Today, according to longtime White House wine wrangler Daniel Shanks, the executive mansion’s SOP is to stock wines in a temperature-controlled holding area near the well-appointed kitchen (not too far from the original stairs that connected the old cellar to the dining area above), keeping just enough wine on hand for upcoming events. It still amounts to dozens of cases, along with the random bottle left over from other functions, all inventoried much like any restaurant wine cellar, but under the shadow of something akin to the watchful eye of a government auditor poking around now and then–if not in reality, at least in spirit–because ultimately everything at the White House is meticulously inventoried.

All wines served at the executive mansion are purchased wholesale directly through the wine producers themselves, or procured from local distributors. No donations of wine are accepted any longer and–especially in a post 9-11 era–bottles that show up unannounced are summarily destroyed, the moment of sad reality documented in a snapshot sent to the would-be giftor with a simple note of “thanks but–.”


Receiving a ratified invitation to a White House affair promises both the flash and substance of graceful hospitality and memorable cuisine. But, the job of guaranteeing that fact is left to a triad of officials–of which Shanks is part–who are leaders of the executive mansion’s permanent household staff, a 100-plus member cadre that does not typically depart with the old administration, often staying on as continuity in managing the inner workings of the executive mansion. Shanks and his peers (along with a few outside consultants) select wines to be served at each diplomatic event. Their ultimate challenge is to impress without causing a political gaffe in the process.

Shanks balances wine expertise and food pairing skills with diplomatic discretion, so a wine’s provenance is paired with guests’ cultural sensitivities (for example by pouring a particular American wine because the winemaker was raised in the visitor’s country, or because the varietal originated there.) Sometimes the White House matches wine to guests first, menu second, with the ultimate goal of neither offending the dignitaries nor the cuisine. Shanks believes it’s just the reality of politics. Serving kings alongside sultans and ambassadors keeps everyone on their toes as they consider customs, traditions and sensitivities.

It becomes a puzzle of international proportions, wherein the perfect kitchen and wine pairing recipe can run afoul of politics, creating a recipe for social blunder. Back in November, when financial contagion was continuing to spread to all corners of the world, sending Asian, European and South American stock markets reeling, President Bush hosted a summit on financial markets and the world economy. Finger-wagging newswires picked up on the summit’s wine choice, pointing to “a $300 bottle of 2003 Shafer Hillside Select” as an admittedly distinguished but poorly-timed pour.

For some of us, selecting wine for life’s important occasions is a high social stakes decision (Will my wine aficionado boss be disappointed if I serve this wine tonight? Is this wine important enough for the wedding party?) For those in the White House, one slip-up can attract national scrutiny or precipitate global consternation.

On the other hand, getting it right can be extremely rewarding. International favor was earned at a May 2007 banquet welcoming Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, as the 2003 Peter Michael Les Pavots Estate cabernet and 2004 Newton Vineyard unfiltered chardonnay were served with crisp flair. The concept: both California wineries were established by Englishmen who had been knighted by the queen for their stature and achievements.


While it was Carter whose administration set the official policy of serving only US wines, the tradition began with Lyndon Johnson. Before that, a President’s taste ruled the roost in a sort of “anything goes” policy.

George Washington never had the opportunity to live in the structure he had designed to be home to the First Family. Nonetheless, he was a generous host who found pleasure in wine (and spirits) service. A recently-uncovered tally reveals that, in August of 1776, the nation’s first President ordered cases of claret, muscat wine and cordials, plus a keg of brandy, likely for entertaining his officers and guests.

By all accounts, Jefferson was the wine guru among the founding fathers. In fact, Presidents Washington, Adams, Madison, and Monroe all benefited from their fellow founder’s intimate knowledge of the world’s top wines. Thomas Jefferson’s vast travels through Europe in the 1780’s certainly set his course for love of the fruit of the vine and a deep appreciation for the timeless classics. In Thomas Jefferson on Wine (University Press of Mississippi), noted Jefferson scholar John Hailman writes,

“Much of what [Jefferson] wrote about the character of …[France and French] wines he encountered could have been written last week, spelling eccentricities aside. ‘Chambertin, Voujeau and Veaune are strongest,’ he says of the red wines of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits; he declares ‘Diquem’ the best Sauternes…”

Jefferson appeared to have a compulsive need to write, as if he were a suitor in an ardent love affair, the grape his betrothed. At times, he was a bit compulsive, and at others, entirely functional and systematic. For this multi-tasking leader, it was the nexus of business and pleasure, which ultimately became wine’s most defining moment at the White House.

Eight administrations later, by large measure the zeal for wine had waned, but not the patient and practiced art of wine service. In 1845, a senator’s wife penned a diary entry detailing a 4-hour affair of state at the Polk White House (heretofore believed to be a teetotaling era). She described glasses filled with six shades of wine from pink champagne to ruby port and sauternes which “formed a rainbow around each plate.” Clearly, the artful elegance of wine appreciation had somehow endured.

Just a few years after Napoleon’s cousin Prince Napoleon Jerome was called on to organize the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris at which the historic Bordeaux classification was unveiled, President James Buchanan won the vote back in America. His was to become an era of self-indulgent beverage service: a penchant for spirits “of fine caliber” caused him to periodically snub liquor merchants who delivered champagne to the White House, using it as an excuse to venture out on Sundays to personally track down more “fitting” bottles, mostly cognac, and some rye. A season of temperance set in. Around 1880, Rutherford B. Hayes (under pressure from the First Lady who was caught up in the bellicose spirit of the Women’s Temperance Movement) altogether banned wine and liquor service at the mansion. And while Woodrow Wilson attempted to stop prohibition’s “noble experiment” by veto, it nevertheless passed, and immediately clamped down on liquor commerce with historic vengeance. Oddly, there is evidence that White House liquor service may have continued during prohibition under Hoover’s watch, during the “pressure cooker” days of the depression. Not too long afterward, prohibition started unraveling early in 1933 as FDR put pen to paper on new freedoms for the emaciated wine and spirits industry, ultimately ending the year with prohibition finally dead and buried.

In the ’60s and early 70’s, both John Kennedy and Nixon loved their French wine. As a result, given the intervening political sensibility of pouring only US wine at diplomatic functions, Richard Nixon took his Francophile tendencies into private quarters, or instead, sometimes sought the cultural anonymity of a champagne flute delivered tableside, gleaming with fresh-poured ribbons of dancing bubbles, no label in sight.) Rather surprisingly, in the past sixteen years, even as the political parties have moved in, out, and back again, the executive mansion’s service procedures remain largely unchanged, except for the recent continued emphasis on a dazzling array of American-centric menus at state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions and official luncheons. The culinary artistry happens in a compact kitchen populated at times by up to five sous chefs and service staff, under the hands-on supervision of Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford appointed to her position in 2005 by First Lady Laura Bush after White House chef Walter Scheib vacated the post a few months earlier. (Comerford is also a member of the wine selecting triad along with Dan Shanks and his boss Stephen Rochon).

As for wine’s influence on her life, according to the White House, Chef Comerford has shared “experiences with some of the nation’s most innovative chefs in the California wine country and San Francisco restaurants to produce original dishes with American flavor.” Celebrity super-chef John Ash, who was one of those inspirations, gives high praise to this member of the White House’s powerful wine triumvirate, “Chris is a master at taking unusually simple ingredients and building a magnificent taste experience…and her understanding of wine as an ingredient in the overall meal is just as savvy.”


The world recognizes that the White House is America’s Presidential Palace and a powerful symbol. But not too often do we see that power leveraged on behalf of the business sector. Accidental or intentional brand association with the White House can create consumer magnetism of mythical proportions. Literal case in point: back in the Reagan era, First Lady Nancy Reagan received a package from David Berkley, the Sacramento wine purveyor who had been offering wine advice to the White House staff for more than a few years. It contained samples of a California wine then largely unknown, Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve chardonnay. Mrs. Reagan liked it and, subsequently, the White House staff began serving it, and the late Pulitzer prize winning San Francisco columnist Herb Caen picked up on the story, dubbing it “Nancy’s Wine.” The rest is history for what is now America’s leading chardonnay.

Twenty years later, history may be repeating itself. In a pre-election People magazine profile on Barack Obama, he was quoted as saying that the same wine is a staple at his Chicago address. Kendall-Jackson founder Jess Jackson responded by sending two congratulatory cases with his best wishes, expressing hope that the wine might bridge the political divide to become a favorite of yet another White House administration, this time Democratic. It therefore comes as no surprise that White House policy does not endorse specific wines, the previous example notwithstanding. A spokesperson for the Obama administration who admitted to having spent a bit of time responding to media’s fleeting interest in non-allergenic canines amid earth-rocking crises, was markedly cheerful when we probed for answers about wine service–a role managed directly through the office of the First Lady. Understandably, the spokeswoman indicated that “…with a long and celebrated history of hosting dignitaries at the White House, [the new administration] would focus on the overall purpose and message of the gathering, and not just one component such as the specific wine being poured.” But with a sort of chuckle, she did admit to being open to suggestions. It was all we needed.

Taking her casual offer literally, we turned to Chicago Master Sommelier Joe Spellman who attended the University of Chicago and lived near Mr. Obama for a while before each moved on: Joe to renowned Charlie Trotters restaurant and beyond; the young Barack Obama up the rungs of the political ladder that led to the executive mansion. “As for White House wine protocol,” Spellman ponders, “I would plan on continuing to feature the rich spectrum of wines and styles offered across America – not just California, or even West Coast: New York, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and more.” He continues, “Yet, we should give ourselves permission to feature wines of a visiting dignitary’s country, as a display of respect and honor.” Then, as an after-thought: “Who knows, maybe they’ll need a Master Sommelier. One from Chicago. What an honor that would be!”

Host Gator Web Hosting Review

January 20, 2023 Category :Industrial Goods & Services| Mental Health Off

Almost every web host out there promises superior hosting services and tools but till you do not experience its services for yourself, you can never tell whether this is the company that perfectly befits your hosting requirements. It therefore becomes important to compare and analyze various web hosts and select a host that would offer all-inclusive benefits and features. We have reviewed one of the most popular web hosts called Host Gator and this company has been around for quite some time and garnered a significant amount of positive feedback.

Host Gator offers hosting services for diverse hosting needs including small and big businesses (shared and dedicated) as well as reseller hosting packages. Furthermore, Host Gator customers get access to 24/7 prompt customer support. The company has to its credit various awards for its superior web hosting services and products. First time Host Gator customer need not worry about risking an investment as the company also offers a 30 day money back guarantee, if not satisfied. This is seemingly a win-win situation as there is actually nothing to lose when the company is providing exceptional hosting services and customer support.

The other most strikingly positive feature is their 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is pretty impressive for e-commerce enabled websites. This implies that e-commerce websites need not worry about their website being down most of the time which could otherwise result in loss on sales.

You could even consider making money with Host Gator by reselling their hosting products and services. Their reseller package starts at only $24.95 per month and the reseller can assign his own prices for individual hosting packages. Specific amount of disk space and bandwidth can also be allocated by the reseller for different hosting accounts.

The cheapest Host Gator plan is the “Hatchling” plan priced at $6.95 per month and the customer is required to an up-front yearly fee for the same. The “Baby Plan” seems to be a wise option as it not only allows you to host unlimited domains but also comes equipped with a disk size of 100,000 MB and a 1000GB bandwidth. These generous features are available for only $9.95 per month which is pretty reasonable given the unlimited tools, features and generous amount of disk space and bandwidth offered.

The third level package is the swamp plan and very much similar to the baby plan except for a few minor benefits and features. This plan is available for $14.95 per month.

Money (And a Nice Boss, Benefits and Career Development) – That’s What I Want

January 14, 2023 Category :Automobiles & Motorcycles| Beauty and Cosmetics Off

Are you a young professional looking to quickly snag the position you want – complete with the pay you desire? And how about excellent benefits and an outstanding boss who is committed to your professional growth at a successful organization? Before you hit delete because this sounds like a fairy tale, consider this: If I can have the life I want at 30, so can you. Here’s how.

Strategy #1: Gain Clarity.

Joe came to me desiring to move up in his company. He had been there for six months, felt he was doing a great job and wanted to move up – to gain greater responsibility and more pay. He was managing a customer relationship but wanted to be leading people – to “be the boss.” He wanted to “make a bigger impact,” but wasn’t even sure leadership was right for him – and didn’t have a plan to get there. But because he wasn’t being promoted quickly, he felt like a failure.

I encouraged him to focus for six months on learning how the organization worked – and to take on tasks outside his job description. A few months later, he found a project that forced him to interact with others and to ask for help to be successful. They helped him because he asked – and appreciated them. Isn’t this what leadership is all about?

Gain as many experiences as possible until you locate what you enjoy most. Once you’re clear on that, you can start crafting a plan to get there.

Strategy #2: Get Focused.

Most employees complain about what’s not working, their boss and their organization . But stay focused on what you want and let the rest take care of itself. And don’t let other complainers you drag you down.

Once Joe clarified his goals, he got focused on gaining the skills necessary to allow him to be successful once he got there – which distracted him from his annoyances and frustration. And within nine months he was seeing his boss and company differently. He didn’t become great buddies with his boss but did gain understanding and respect for him. Over time, the respect was reciprocated, and Joe got the promotion he wanted. This, by the way, was not the promotion he originally wanted. As he gained experiences, he realized what he really wanted.

Strategy #3: Be Generous Always.

Zig Ziglar, the world’s most known inspirational speaker, says, “You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Joe was so focused on what he wanted to gain, he completely forgot to communicate what he had to offer. And the more he helped other people, the more they wanted to help him. His attitude went from, “What can you do for me?” to “What can I do for this organization and my team?” He set up meetings with executives from different departments (to gain a greater understanding of his company), located new projects outside his job description, began asking his boss how he could help and looked for ways to support his team members (like sending two hand-written thank-you notes a week).

Getting what you want as a professional is about gaining clarity around your ambitions, staying focused and being generous. Start with the first one. Take responsibility for understanding your organization and how you can contribute – and go from there.

Easy Church Fundraising Success

December 3, 2022 Category :Electronics and Electrical| Generals Off

Most people realize that funding is a tool to do God’s work and the amount of funding earned helps to determine the effectiveness of our giving.

For example if your youth group was going on a mission but there was only enough funds to get half of them to the location then less will be accomplished, or what if you could get everyone there but were not able to bring bibles, food, and that much needed water pump? Fewer people might have their mind open to hearing God’s word.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

What is your cause?

Determine the single cause for which all of the money will be used. This needs to be something “extra”. A van for the youth group, a new roof or pews for the church, the 2009 South American Mission. This step is absolutely essential, as the cause must create enthusiasm and determination among the group. The greater the cause the more people will want to participate and make it happen.

Having a fundraiser to pay the utilities or to keep the church alive will not work, if the congregation as a whole were behind those efforts they would have already happened and would be an indicator to the over all success you would have in church fundraising.

How much do you need to raise?

Determine the amount of money that will be required in order to accomplish your cause, this will be your goal.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” ( Luke 14:28)

At the start of the fundraising campaign you will want to let everyone know what the goal is and exactly what the fundraiser will pay for. If the fundraiser is to get a new sound/video system for the church write out exactly what is being paid for and how it will benefit the congregation, Sell it!

“This fundraising money will be used to purchase and install:

* 3 woofermajigers

* 1 sound board

* 1 sub processing system

* 1 amplification system

* 3 60×90 overhead projection screen

* 1 3-way projection system

This new sound system will allow our choir and band to be heard crisply and clearly. With our over head projection screens showing the words to songs and hymns everyone will be able to sing along, including new patrons that may not already know the words. Our chorus of joyous voices will raise the roof and lift our spirits! This will also help us to make guest feel welcome and perhaps they will come back and praise with us again… just one more way we can spread God’s word. Additionally if you have you ever missed the first 2 minutes of my sermon while you are looking up the verse you will really appreciate that you will be able to see it on a state of the art overhead screen…….or as the Pastor you could say I am tired of seeing the top of peoples heads for the first two minutes of my sermons”

You must sell it, you must drum up support.

I recommend fundraising discount cards because they are quick, easy and profitable. The church members sell the fundraising cards just like they would sell candy bars or pop corn. They sell for $10 and cost as little as $1.50 each. Supporter can sell 10 – 20 cards. On the front of your fundraising discount card will be your organization’s name, logo, and expiration date. The back will contain twelve (12) to twenty (20) local merchants, each giving a buy one get one free offer or other discount. The Fundraising cards are valid for one (1) year of continuous use by the bearer.

Since a discount card fundraiser is also a great opportunity for the merchant, most of them will stay with the group for a fundraiser year after year. Some groups actually form waiting lists. Easy Fundraising Cards is great source.

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Continue to remind people why their effort is so important. Communicate daily with everyone involved in the fundraising effort, let them know how it is going, let them hear success stories, praise the efforts of those producing the greatest results, so other will follow. everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts in a successful cause and want to be part of “the buzz”.