(CNN) – The global economy may be undergoing a significant downturn, but the White House's dinner budget still appears flush with cash.
After all, world leaders who are in town to discuss the economic crisis are set to dine in style Friday night while sipping wine listed at nearly $500 a bottle.
According to the White House, tonight's dinner to kick off the G-20 summit includes such dishes as "Fruitwood-smoked Quail," "Thyme-roasted Rack of Lamb," and "Tomato, Fennel and Eggplant Fondue Chanterelle Jus."
To wash it all down, world leaders will be served Shafer Cabernet “Hillside Select” 2003, a wine that sells at $499 on Wine.com.
The exceedingly pricey wine may seem a bit peculiar given leaders are in Washington to discuss a possible world financial meltdown, but Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for Laura Bush, said it "was the most appropriate wine that we had in the White House wine cellar for such a gathering.
McDonough also said the White House purchased the wine at a "significantly lower price" than what it is listed at.
"Of course the White House gets its wine at wholesale prices," she said. "Given the intimate size of the group, it was an appropriate time for The White House to use this stock."
The leaders of the U.K., France, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and 11 developing economies have all come to Washington at the behest of President Bush in an effort to express confidence in the fundamental underpinnings of the world's economy.
– CNN's Becky Brittain contributed to this report
its important to make your guests feel at home. its important for the u.s. to be hospitable. its like when your mother in law is coming over to the house even though you lost your job a couple of months ago. you don't want her to see you living badly... give the white house a break!
I think this is perfectly appropriate. The wine was probably for free or for cost to the manufacturer. The outrage would be if the white house served wine from some other country.
I've never had $500 wine but I would never begrudge any president, no matter how unpopular, the bounty of his nation.
The argument that the wine has been bought and paid for already is false.
Expensive wine can be sold instead of consumed.
I hope that they don't have enough in store to make a dent in the deficit, but one never knows...
Hey!!! The world is going to end soon, why not drink the good stuff!!!!
As concerned as I am regarding the economy and as big of a critic I am towards G.DUBYA, I can say this is all okay. These are world leaders. Even families down the street making 6 figures are welcome to enjoy expensive bottles of wine. WHO CARES! If you all had the money i'm sure you would be doing the same. Some of us who should be cooking at home or eating off the dollar menu at McDonald's are rather going to eat at expensive steakhouses.
In other words, who cares!
"For God's sake, let's not pick apart everything, including the wine they're serving to world leaders. Things have been done this way for ever, let's not get patheitic."
The very reason we are in this mess is that everyone has been doing things "this way for ever".
Now is the time to start fresh...and sober.
This is going a little overboard. You might as well criticize the president for living in that huge mansion...
There are real examples of wasteful government spending out there worthy of reporting, however this is not one of them.
Maybe it will trickle down
Whats the difference? We have to pay for Obama's mother in law to live in the White House.
what, do want to give the world leaders a bottle of boones? Lets worry about more important stuff. Don't get me wrong, I'm always up for sticking it to Bush, but this is ridiculous.
they're stimulating the economy.
I dont know about everyone else, but nothing says "financial meltdown" to me like being forced to eat quail and drink $500 wine. I'll bet just seeing that on the menu drove the message home...
I wonder what was Nero drinking...?
Yep, George W. just does not get it. Millions of Americans, many of whom probably voted for him, have lost their jobs.. and their savings! Reminds me of how the French Revolution started....Let them eat cake, is the phrase that I recall.... well let the G-7 drink $500 wine... hope that they all sleep well while we working folks worry about feeding our kids!
Well I certainly wouldn't want our country to be serving Boone's Farm! Anything in that cellar is fair game....
Don't forget the Lame Duck at the top of the menu – it's always a favorite.
I like beer. Bud Select 2008, $6.50 / six pack.
This is not news, they always do this. How about report more on the CEO that get a grip of money from these bailouts.
The liberal media will continue to find something, anything, to make a big deal out of concerning President Bush. This is the United States of America. The President is hosting 20 world leaders, you would rather prefer the White House serve Mad Dog wouldn't you?? Go find a story that the American people are concerned about.
who cares, getting so sick of these irrelevant articles
Interesting. It looks like Canada, Australia and the US are under the developing economies.
"The leaders of the U.K., France, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and 11 developing economies"
Just a point of order...Canada is also one of the countries there and last time I checked we aren't a 'developing country'...we've actually been rated as having the best banking system in the world. It's about time those south of the border look to the north for direction and give us the respect we deserve.
Hey Laura ...
Bring out the good stuff
Don't want those Dems. to get it .. Hey, Hey ...