After President Obama and Vice President Biden are sworn in for a second term of Monday, January 21, they will host the Inaugural Luncheon--the ultimate power lunch with about 250 top members of their Administration, leaders of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and others.
And they'll enjoy two great New York wines with their meal: Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes, and Bedell 2009 Merlot from Long Island..
New York's senior Senator, Charles Schumer, chairs the Rules Committee which is responsible for planning the inaugural festivities every four years. A proud New Yorker very familiar with the quality of New York wines and foods, he wanted to share New York's bounty with his colleagues in official Washington. In early September, New York Farm Day hosted by New York's junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, gave Senator Schumer and others an opportunity to sample some of the products that will now be part of this historic luncheon.
The Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling is a unique collaborative creation among three vineyards, three wineries, and three winemakers, hence the name "Tierce", which means three. Besides being a superb wine which California wine writer Dan Berger has described as "the best dry Riesling ever made in America", it is symbolic of the spontaneous cooperation among the wine community of the Finger Lakes. Each fall, winemakers Peter Bell of Fox Run, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road, and Dave Whiting of Red Newt make their own separate batches of dry Riesling, and in the early spring spend a day tasting dozens of different blends until they agree on the best which becomes that year's Tierce. Since it was first produced in 2005, Tierce has won Gold medals, high scores, and other accolades around the world.
The Bedell 2009 Merlot is the legacy of "The Master of Merlot" Kip Bedell, who founded the winery and remains deeply involved today as a consulting winemaker for owner Michael Lynne, working alongside veteran Long Island winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich in the cellar. Many years ago, the Wine Spectator described Kip as the Master of Merlot with a cover story, and Bedell's status as one of Long Island's premier wineries remains unchanged. But under the ownership of Michael Lynne, a film producer and patron of the arts, a new emphasis on world-class graphic arts has enhanced both the winery tasting room and wine bottles so now there is great art both inside and outside each bottle of Bedell wine.
Both the Tierce and Merlot have limited supply, but are available directly from the wineries until supplies run out. We are also delighted that New York apples, honey, maple syrup, and other products will be part of the Inaugural Luncheon.