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Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J Ryan, Jr

by Debra C. Argen
Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J Ryan, Jr
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If you love wine, history, and formal dinners, you are going to love the book Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. I fell in love with this stunning book filled with interesting anecdotes about the Presidents of the United States of America from President George Washington through President Donald Trump, and provides an in-depth look at the history of wine served at the White House through the years. For gastronomy lovers, the book is also interesting as it includes menus from the dinners and the wines that accompanied each of the courses. More than a gorgeous coffee table book, it is also a wonderful reference book for yourself or to give as a gift.


Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. is truly a treasure of a book. Beautifully written with gorgeous photographs and illustrations, the 456 glossy page book kept me enthralled from cover to cover. The book has interesting stories about the Presidents, fabulous wine quotes, and photographs of the stunning glassware and wine accoutrements used that collectors would love to add to add to their collections.

Author Frederick J. Ryan has spent a lifetime learning about wine and White House history and brings his vast knowledge to this book. He "currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the White House Historical Association, of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and of the Wine Committee of the Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C." He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Genevieve.

The book has seven chapters designed to educate, engage and enthrall beginning with Chapter 1: The Presidents and Their Wines, Chapter 2: The Selection, Storage, and Service of Wine, Chapter 3: From French Beginnings to Virginia and Beyond, Chapter 4: The White House Collection, Chapter 5: Presidential Toasts, Chapter 6: On the Menu, and Chapter 7: The Wines Served: A Catalog of Vintages.

If you are ever at a loss of words for how to give a formal toast, perhaps you might find inspiration in Chapter 5: Presidential Toasts. As a dedicated foodie, I loved Chapter 6: On the Menu, as I like to keep menus from fine dining evenings spent at renowned restaurants and for special events, as well as dinners for family and friends at my home, so I especially appreciated the historical menus and wine pairings and seeing how the food and wine culture has changed and evolved through the years.

Chapter 6 is dedicated to menus and includes to whom the dinner or luncheon was in honor of as well as lists the food and wine pairings. The first menu is from an April 19, 1877 dinner held by President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes at the State Dinner for the Grand Duke Alexis, son of the Russian czar, and the last menu is a September 20, 2019 Rose Garden State Dinner honoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia held by President and Mrs. Trump. The book has more than 100 menus so that if you are ever in need of inspiration for a special dinner party, there is plenty of inspiration to be found in this book.

Oenophiles will especially appreciate Chapter 7: The Wines Served, A Catalog of Vintages, which begins with the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) listing dates and wines served, and ends with the dates and wines served during the Presidency of Donald J. Trump (2017 – ).

Whether you or a special someone loves learning about American history, exceptional wines or fine dining cuisine, Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., is sure to please. "In vino veritas – in wine there is truth." – Pliny the Elder

Wine and the White House: A History by Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. published by White House Historical Association. October 2020. Hardcover, 456 pages with illustrations: $55.00.
ISBN: 978-1-950273-07-2

The White House Historical Association

"All income from the sale of Wine and the White House: A History is wholly dedicated to support the work and educational mission of the White House Historical Association. The Association was founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as the independent, non-profit partner of the White House to enhance the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion."

The book is available for purchase from The White House Historical Association via their website: https://shop.whitehousehistory.org/products/whitehousewine or by calling them at 1-800-555-2451.

For more information on The White House Historical Association please visit their website at www.WhiteHouseHistory.org

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