(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
Someone should have run out to Trader Joes and got some Two Buck Chuck ($2.00).
Geez $500 bucks a bottle, I hope it was good. They could have gotten nice tasting wine for $30.00.
A disgrace I tell ya.
As Rome burned, Nero fiddled.
World leaders or not, drinking expensive wine at such an event is in poor taste.
Did Laura, and ding-dong, serve FORTUNE COOKIES at the end to???
why don't you all get a life, get a job, and go on with your lives!
I'm not a fan of the current administration, but this form of shoddy journalism has to stop. What a crap commentary.
Hey if I owned a winery I would probably give some away to get it served at a White House dinner/
George Bush was an alcholic before...wish he had stayed an alcholic. Would have saved the country a lot of trouble. Hope you find your taste for wine again George :)
For M Jones ...190 dollars is a lot of money...every think with that bottle you drink you could have save a starving childs life for the whole year
I bet Bush and his daddy drink NIGHT TRAIN or BOONES FARM, out of a brown paper bag when they are on the front porch in Crawford, Texas, telling each other war stories about their flying days...Bush Junior, shot down over 100 beer cans in one nasty dog fight...That was before he went AWOL from the Air National Guard. To avoid going to Vietnam..
It's a meeting of world leaders, what did you expect them to serve...cans of Pepsi and Doritos?
So? Frankly, they're all world leaders or at least very high up in their government, so they're earned the right. Do you expect them to drink Beringer White Zinfandel at a world economic summit?
How would a president understand poverty when he or she has never ever been poor. shame on the world leaders,
Laura picked the wine ; George picked his nose
Cry me a river! What do you expect them to serve, Bud light and water?? Am I the only one who finds this retarded? Why don't you put those world leaders up in Motel 6 while you are at it...Get a grip already!
Exactly "Catholicmom4Obama," I'm sure Barrack will be serving his guests Sutter Home Cab Sav with Cheezits. Give me a break, just because the general public switches from Jiffy to Food Lion brand peanut butter during a recession doesn't mean that the president can't serve wine from the whitehouse cellar that was bought God knows how long ago and happens to be $500/bottle. Yet another example of how the media in this country highlights the smallest detail to rile up the poplulous to drag someone's reputation through the dirt. I don't support Bush either but come on, I have a bottle of maker's mark in my liquor cabinet i bought 6 months ago, does this mean I can't serve it to my house guests in good taste? Grow up people...
I am appalled, if they think over dinner and a bottle of wine, they are impressing me (never mind the cost of the wine) Each of the G20 heads should have been having meetings with thier top economic and financial advisors, about what specifics they were going to propose based on the pre communications, between all those governments which were no doubt variable ideas to see what was at least remotely common, pursue those and get consensus on at least three or four key points and act, and identify others for further discussion.. They are managing one of the globes major catastrophes and behaving as though a fancy dinner is more important and criticising rightly the greed elsewhere.
Personally, I have been a CEO and given up more free lunches and dinners than I care to recall for much lower level crises with which these guys have to currently deal.
Who is paying? The taxpayer from all G20 countries.
We want accountabilty and action not dinners that only re-state pre-conceived diplomatic positions.... and do not help find the common ground in my experience, only cloud the issues often based on misinterpretations of what someone said when half drunk at worst or an incorrect interpretation of a casual conversational remark in a basically informal environment.
The pouting by Bush about free markets is pathetic, no one believes they should be eliminated, but simply regulated against excessive risk and greed.
So do I understand right that Germany is a developing country? Surprise, surprise
Hey because of the Economic crises this may be the last good meal they
WATCH CBS 60 minutes of the week before election.
It shows how 8 years back Congress fell in love with wall street
and all "outdated" regulatory laws and a new york gambling law
was removed so the financial institutions could do whatever they wanted and traders not get in troubleThat was the Goldilocks economy of irrational exuberance.Today it is the three bears.
Heavily regulated indian banks have escaped this problem
It is going to take a long time for market to recover.BBCnews has been predicting this for 2 years.
A U.S.Financial expert said that there are usually 2 types of Market
rebound One a V shaped and one is U shaped.This particular one is
a L shaped.
The market bounce according to the British is the bounce of a dead cat
By the way it is not thanksgiving yet and we have so many turkeys at the
white house.GOBBLE GOBBLE
This is a non-story. Thanks for playing.
Clerly you all are missing the point. This is a great vintage, but it's too soon to drink it. It would be best in another five years. Looks like to me, their drinking all the good stuff, so it won't be there for the next President.
I am one of the many who can not wait for jan 20th...however this is so much of a non issue its not even funny. At least it is an American made wine, so lets say that they did actually buy it a couple of years ago for their wine cellar, at least they put that money back into the U.S economy!! It's the president of the united states of america...i am very sure that there is much more expensive wines, cognacs, ports, and champanges in that cellar...and trust me i could care less!!!
I have a suggestion of what to do with the empty bottles!!! (WINK!)
Just remember how the Roman Empire collapsed – it's being revisited, courtesy of the "successful" businessman turned President, George Bush.
With a little research, in 2005 they served the Queen "1994 Hillside Select", excellent age. Now in 2008 their serving "2003", too young. My question, there seems to be some vintages missing, like six years of, wheres it at. Maybe a ranch in Texas?