A very intersting article on wine service in the White House, dating back to Washington.
The President’s House, as The White House was known in 1800, was designed under the direction of George Washington (although he never slept there) to showcase the majesty of the new republic. It was expected to look and function like an imperial residence, entertaining visiting dignitaries in lavish fashion and dazzling citizens with its grandeur. Parties were expected to feature the best food and the finest wine, and it was hoped that guests would leave with unforgettable memories of their time spent in the company of America’s First Family.
Over the course of two centuries, the house has changed greatly, but its role has not. An invitation to a White House social event still holds the promise of exquisite cuisine and superb hospitality. For White House officials, however, modern-day state functions present even greater social and political challenges.