Politics and taste. . .

President Obama made a splendid speech at his inauguration, though questions remain: Will the Republicans be more cooperative? Will gun owners in New York accept the invitation of the attorney general of Texas to move there? And, most vexing of all, who decided to feature one of America’s least distinguished sparkling wines (Korbel) at the inauguration lunch, and then compound the off-centeredness by choosing its bone-dry version to go with dessert? (Wine lovers snickered at the choice on esthetic grounds, and the French complained about the use of the word “Champagne,” to some cheap shots from politicians and pundits unaware that they’re legally, as well as morally, obliged to do so.)
       Meanwhile, it was great to see New York wines getting their due: Tierce Dry Riesling 2010 from the Finger Lakes, and Bedell Cellars Merlot 2009 from Long Island were also poured. The last time I visited both areas, a few years ago, I was pleasantly amazed at the quality of a wide range of the wines, especially these two varieties. I don’t know about New York Senator Charles Schumer’s epicurean credentials generally, but he made a good call when he muscled them on to the menu.

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