US-Cuban Relations Could Thaw Over Wine

President Obama has shown an interest in high level talks with Cuba on migration between the two countries, as pressure mounts from Latin America to  “reintegrate Cuba into the Organization of American States,”  reports Ginger Thompson in a recent New York Times article – U.S. Signals Willingness to Reopen Talks With Cuba.   The Secretary General of the O.A.S., Chilean Jose Miguel Insulza, favors dialogue with Cuba.  Flavio Dario Espinal, a former diplomat from the Dominican Republic says that the “key thing is going to be finding a way to break the ice.”  Hey, I have an idea, why not use wine as an ice-breaker!  But what wine?

To break the Ice – a 2006 Konzelman Vidal Niagara Penisula Ice Wine.  Ranked 100 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2008.  At 94 points, this viognier varietal would be the perfect aperitif to start off any high level talks, particularly one with a dictator.

Obama and Fidel – first meeting – The 2007 Two Hands McLaren Vale Angels Share.  This wine made the the Winespectator list at #83. A handshake and glass of Two Hands along with a pre-dinner slice of Obama’s favorite deep dish Chicago style pizza.   In a gesture of goodwill, Obama could offer Fidel a wipe for his beard – what a great photo op!

Main course – The talks would be most productive with food.  I’d go with  Fillet Mignon and the 2005 Pride Cabernet Sauvignon.  The name is appropo.   Cubans have very little by way of material comfort, but they are a people full of pride in the best sense of the word with a leader full of pride in the worst sense.

Desert – The top wine of 2008, the 2005 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta from Chile, should be served by the Chilean Secretary of the O.A.S. himself, along with a rich and chocolaty dessert and an after dinner Cuban cigar.