Thirst-quenching meal for Obama's inaugural lunch

Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:20am EST
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Guests at the inaugural luncheon after Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States will be treated to seafood stew, duck and pheasant, sponge cake and some of California's finest wines.

And they will toast the new president with a Korbel Natural "Special Inauguration Curvee" California Champagne.

"This is our seventh inauguration ... and it's always a prestigious honor," said Gary Heck, the president of Korbel, which has been making wines for 125 years, after learning that his wine will accompany dessert at the meal.

About 230 guests have been invited to the luncheon, organized by Design Cuisine, a Washington catering company, in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

A bi-partisan committee, chaired by California Senator Diane Feinstein, selected the food and the wines after tastings held for senators and representatives, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, according to Kathy Valentine, the head of the company preparing the feast.

The first course, a seafood stew filled with lobster, scallops, shrimp and cod, will be served with Duckhorn Vineyards's 2007 Sauvignon Blanc.

"The wine was released April 3, 2008. It's the only white wine we make as a company. It's a little richer, there's some barrel fermentation and I think it has benefited from being in the bottle a little longer," Duckhorn's chief winemaker Bill Nancarrow said of the harvest that yielded 30,000 cases.

"They've had Duckhorn wines at the White House before, so they know us. But still this is quite something," he added.   Continued...