Obama at Emperor’s Tables: Chateaux Margaux, Dom Perignon, Mt. Fuji Glace

President Barack Obama toasts with Japanese Empress Michiko and Emperor Akihito during the official state dinner at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on April 24, 2014.

Photograph by Jim Watson-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama toasts with Japanese Empress Michiko and Emperor Akihito during the official state dinner at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on April 24, 2014.

They poured a 1994 Chateaux Margaux Grand Cru.

That runs about $500 a bottle — with about 150 guests to serve.

Putting even the 1998 Dom Perignon champagne to shame, at $232 a bottle.

Nothing like a state dinner hosted by the emperor of Japan.

With ice cream carved in the shape of Mt. Fuji.

Such was the fare for the traveling American president at the Imperial Palace dinner hosted by Emperor Akihito tonight.

When President Barack Obama pours the wine back home in Washington, his tastes have shown some refinement as well. Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev has taken note of the president’s first White House state dinners, where some nice American vintages were served.

At Obama’s dinner  for Chinese President Hu Jintao, one of the wines served was a top-rated 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state that originally sold for $115 a bottle and went for as much as $399 by the time of the dinner. “The price the White House paid per bottle was not made public,” Talev noted.

“At the next state dinner, on June 7, 2011, for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the menu made public by the White House corked the details on the wines — only that “an American wine will be paired with each course.”

Even when the sommelier was given some room to run, the made-in-America instinct prevailed, limiting that search to the Willlamette or Napa valleys.

No such boundaries for the emperor — imagine sake at a state dinner. (Well, they did serve sake, too.)

The old Bordeaux that Talev — traveling with Obama in Asia this week – spotted at dinner tonight in Japan averages $496 a bottle.

The white served at the table is a little harder to pin-point, as the label wasn’t available. That Corton Charlemagne could run upwards of $200.

Even so, Emperor Akihito may have been holding back a little. The Bordeaux vintage served  carries a 90-point rating. The 2000, however — now that draws closer to 100 points. And that bottle runs closer to $1,300.

All the red, white and champagne helped wash down some Royal Consommé, Madaï au Champagne, Red Sea Bream Steamed with Champagne, Gigot de Mouton Rôti, Roasted Leg of Lamb, Salade de Saison — that Glace Mont Fuji (Ice Cream in the Image of Mt. Fuji) and Fruit.

After dinner: Sandeman Medium Dry Sherry, Hennessy Extra Cointreau, Peppermint Liqueur and Ballantine’s 30 Year.

Obama, who spoke of his first visit to Japan as a boy of six with his mother, celebrated “an alliance that will never be broken.” He toasted his hosts: “May we never give up hope, may we always take care of each other, and may we continue to live strong for tomorrow.”

 

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