Presidential Wine Cellar

What have our presidents been drinking?


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Thomas Jefferson

TJ is sadly well known in wine circles, not for his careful purchases of great wines, but rather for wines that were attributed to him and sold to unsuspecting dupes over the past decades in a scandal that became a book: The Billionaire’s Vinegar.

Jefferson was an intellectual of the highest order and his approach to wine was totally in character. When he laid out his home, the famed Monticello, Jefferson built not only a cider room, he also built a 17.5 by 15 ft wine cellar to hold all his amassed purchases. And even beyond that, Jefferson was a pioneer in planting European wine grapes here in the states. He didn’t live to see them successfully produce wine, but he planted the seeds of an industry.

Photo courtesy mikebaudio via Flickr/CC

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  • Snooth User: TexasBob
    106289 7

    Ben Franklin was not, of course, a president.

    Feb 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

  • Snooth User: homestar
    512161 83

    I've heard Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars tell the story of how his Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir was requested by the White House (pretty sure it would have to be the Bush presidency). Mac had a limited # of cases and would only sell them 2 despite their request for the whole vintage. He also said that Prince Charles drank this wine every night during his stay.

    Sorry, Mac, if I got any details wrong. PS, I love this wine too!

    Feb 21, 2012 at 8:09 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Of course Ben Franklin was not a President, though his time in France certainly had an impact on what the Presidents were stocking and drinking.

    Feb 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM

  • Snooth User: lakenvelder
    Hand of Snooth
    544484 519

    Was wonder why Ben was on the list as he was a founding father and not President. He most likely enjoyed wine while in France as an ambassador. I read somewhere he invented the armonica from wine glasses.

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:11 PM

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