Imported wine a staple on MB’s tables: Report

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Imported wine a staple on MB’s tables: Report

Napa Valley wine made the most frequent appearance on the presidential tables during the Lee Myung-bak administration, according to a new report, while wines made in Korea were employed only occasionally.

The report, from the National Archives of Korea, shows that Lee’s Blue House spent 346 million won ($326,046) to purchase 6,024 bottles of wines from 2008 to 2012, said Representative Kim Jae-won of the Saenuri Party. The Blue House mostly purchased imported wines at discounted prices, spending 67,300 won per bottle.

The most expensive among them was a Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut from the eponymous French winemaker. The Blue House purchased 18 bottles of the champagne for last year’s nuclear security summit in Korea at a cost of 400,000 won per bottle. Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut normally sells for about 800,000 won per bottle on the market.

Onda d’ Oro, a Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Dana Estates, a Napa Valley winery in California, was the most popular for presidential luncheons and dinners. During Lee’s presidency, the Blue House spent 37.6 million won to purchase 142 bottles of that kind, which sells for 435,000 won per bottle on the market. The Blue House paid 235,000 won per bottle.

According to the report, the second-most popular bottle was the Montes Alpha M, a premium wine from Chile. Vaso, another Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Dana Estates, came in third. Dana Estates is owned by Lee Hi-sang, an in-law of former President Chun Doo Hwan.

The Blue House also purchased 870 bottles of wines produced in Korea in the first year of Lee’s presidency, but that number dwindled. In 2009, 370 bottles were purchased, while the Blue House only bought 50 bottles in 2011.


BY KIM KYUNG-HEE [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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