Inaugural Wines

Inaugural Wines

Today, we raise our glass to the peaceful transition of power.  Regardless of where you sit on the political aisle, let’s just toast our great country together.

So if we’re going to argue over anything, let’s argue over what to drink!  Let’s toast our great land by enjoying wines from the places our leaders represent. So whether you choose Chicago, New York or Washington, DC, we have wines that epitomize it all.

Chicago Homecoming

The Obamas came from Chicago. And so did one of Napa Valley’s most important winemakers.

Doug Shafer actually was 17 when his father John, who then worked in the publishing industry, decided to change careers and try his hand at winemaking. And even though he had absolutely no experience in the wine world, John packed up his family and moved them from Chicago to Napa.

That was 1975. Flashforward, Shafer Vineyards won the 2012 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year award for their 2008 Relentless. The wine is mostly Syrah with some Petite Sirah, deep dark color with aromas of blackberry, blueberry and black raspberry.

And the name is just apropoe.

We have to give a shout out to Michelle Obama. One of our great First Ladies and an overall tough cookie. So in honor of her ripped arms, try R Wines Strong Arms Shiraz 2008. The name says it all, but the wine, also a Shiraz, is lush, sweetly-fruited, full-flavored.

New York, New York

There are a ton of vineyards in New York State now, but in honor of the Empire State, check out Brotherhood Winery.

It’s the oldest operating winery in the United States. Located in the Hudson River Valley, it’s first underground cellars were dug in 1839 by the then proprietors and they still are used today. They have been producing wine for nearly 200 years.

And while Brotherhood’s specialty is “spiced” wines, they make a bunch of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Washington, D.C.

While D.C. doesn’t actually make wine, one of our country’s founding father’s did. Thomas Jefferson, our first presidential wine connoisseur, tried to plant grapes on Monticello, his property in Virginia, back in the early 1800s. And while he didn’t live to see anything work out, he would be super proud of the wines coming out of Virginia today.

So whether you grab a bottle from Barboursville or even the Trump Winery (yes, there is a Trump Winery), try a Virginian wine to celebrate the our 45 leaders.

Otherwise, especially today, consider the Unity Cabernet Sauvignon by Fisher Family Vineyards. The aromas of bright red fruit and the long finish help foster some optimism for the future.

And regardless of what happens, there’s always more wine.

Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip

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