After Barack Obama takes the oath of office next Tuesday, January 20, his first duty as president will be to attend the inaugural luncheon, a tradition that’s been part of Inauguration Day for more than a century. This year, Obama and crew will chow down on a menu inspired by Abraham Lincoln, with a few modern twists: seafood stew, paired with a Duckhorn Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc; a brace of pheasant and duck, served with sour cherry chutney, molasses sweet potatoes, and a Goldeneye 2005 Pinot Noir; and, for dessert, an apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glace, alongside the Korbel Natural “Special Inaugural Cuvee.”
Assuming you’re not one of the lucky ones invited to eat like Lincoln with Obama, you’ll be left to fend for yourself during the celebration. So what drink should you be using to toast to hope, change, and a new American future? Here are some ideas.
Expression 44Â° Pinot Noir: When the recently founded Expression Wines outfit released its Expression 44Â°-a pinot noir made from grapes grown at the 44th parallel in Oregon’s Willamette Valley-the crew had no clue it would cause such a stir. “We were pleasantly surprised when people excitedly started calling us to buy it, saying this was the perfect wine to serve at their inauguration party,” said Dick Wollack, who owns the pinot-focused winery along with Bill Hill and will soon be releasing an Expression 34Â° from the Mt. Carmel and Rancho Salsipuedes vineyards in Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Customers connected the label with Obama being the 44th president, and the winery responded by offering the usually $48 bottle for $44, and a case for $440. Getting a 90-point score from super-critic Robert Parker didn’t hurt either. See expressionwine.com.