Wine, wine and more wine at the United Nations
Let us begin with a brief history lesson.
It is widely known that Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, was the founding father and main author of the Declaration of Independence. It is perhaps a lesser-known fact that Jefferson was also a founding father of Bordeaux wines for the US. When visiting France in the 18th century as US Ambassador, Jefferson fell in love with the French wine culture and brought the valuable goods back to the States where the US would continue to cultivate and trade for centuries to come. Jefferson, noted for his gourmet taste, also notably produced his own wine on his property in Monticello, Virginia.
It is only appropriate that in the approaching completion of the Cité des Civilizations du Vin in Bordeaux, the American Friends of Cité des Civilizations du Vin (AFCCV) launch their campaign to name the wine culture hub of the world after Thomas Jefferson himself. The Thomas Jefferson Auditorium will hold special cultural exhibitions, and it is one more element that makes the Cité not just another museum, but a landmark. Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, noted at the UN Wine Tasting Extravaganza: “It is said that Thomas Jefferson’s household consumed about 400 bottles [of Bordeaux wine] annually, and around 600 during his time as President of the United States. As an expert himself, he drew up a list of the finest Grands Crus of Bordeaux, which strikingly resembles the Classement des Grands Crus 1855, established 70 years later and still valid today.”
The United Nations dining room was filled with culture, celebration and a love of wine. The crowd of over 340 donors and guests (including 75 ambassadors) mingled, discussing the gorgeous array of 50 different wines from all over the world, ranging from Australia to China to Ethiopia.
Between presentations at the podium, dancers and performers of all types graced the stage to bring attention to the large spectrum of culture emanating from the room. This event stood to show the importance of the Cité des Civilisations du Vin and its ideals. The Cité and the AFCCV are commendable in their aim to bring the world together using the incredible power of a glass of wine, and every person in the room, whether political or not, felt the importance of this connection between nations.
Patricia Dale Lidis
Photos: AFCCV and Bogdan Seredyak