A decade ago, Bedell Cellars was bestowed an honor that made history for Long Island’s Wine Country. The Cutchogue-based vineyard’s 2009 merlot was poured at former President Barack Obama’s second inaugural luncheon. Selected by NY Senator Chuck Schumer, it was the first New York State wine to have ever been showcased at this historic event.
In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of this achievement, Bedell Cellars is teaming up with Fyr & Salt to recreate history. On Saturday, March 25, they will be hosting a four-course Presidential Wine Dinner featuring dishes inspired by the Inaugural Luncheon.
Each course will be paired with the vineyard’s vintage wines, hand-selected by Bedell Cellars winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich.
“We wanted to try to work in other styles and types of wines that have been served in the White House in the past,” Olsen-Harbich explained. “For example, sparkling wine has always been a favorite of a number of presidents throughout American history, so we’re going to start out with a sparkling wine.”
The star of the evening will be Bedell’s 2009 merlot, which hasn’t been served since the presidential inauguration.
“I’ve tried a little not too long ago, and it still tastes beautiful,” Olsen-Harbich said. “It has some black cherry, tobacco, pencil lead and a lot of complex bottle age flavors right now that I think are going to be very interesting to people and will show that the wines that we’re making can age for a number of decades.”
Paying tribute to the main course that was served in 2013, the 14-year-old bottle of merlot will be paired with a wood-fired bison loin. For dessert, Fyr & Salt will be preparing an apple frangipane tartlet — a twist on the traditional apple pie that was served a decade ago and has been admitted to be former President Barack Obama’s favorite dessert during his time in the White House.
With only 10 seats at the table, the dinner is intended to be an intimate celebration of not only Bedell Cellars’ success but of the region.
“We’re all very proud that one of our wines was selected, and I think it was a seminal moment for Long Island and the North Fork in particular because it was really the moment when we arrived on the national scene,” explained Olsen-Harbich. “This is the 50th anniversary of the North Fork wine region, and so it seemed fitting to try to honor that.”
The Presidential Wine Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is expected to end at 9 p.m. For tickets or for more information, visit bedellcellars.com.