Intimidated By Wine
I bet there was a time when the White House, under no circumstances, would have served a California wine at a State dinner for a visiting leader from Europe. That time would have been long ago, but nonetheless I’ll bet there was a time. And the reason is probably the same that explains how Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius could have been led to make this comment about her state’s wine:
You should be thankful we don’t make wine in Kansas. If you ever see Kansas wine, don’t drink it.”
For some reason, people tend to get self conscious about the quality of their home state products when faced with someone from a place that serves as an icon for that product.
In the case of the Kansas Governor, the unfortunate quip came out of her mouth while in Washington State at a fundraising event for the Washington Governor. I suppose it’s the notion that fine wine has always had a way of bestowing some sort of sophistication on those associated with it, be it as a producer, drinker or representative of a place where the wines are understood to be outstanding. Governor Sebelius clearly didn’t want to be associated with an industry that did not have the reputation equal to that of Washington States. She was intimidated.
The Kansas governor, if asked about either Washington Wines or Kansas Wines or the comparison of the two really should have responded this way:
"Kansas may not have a leg up on the great wines of Washington…Yet. We grow more than 20 different wine grapes in the state and our wines are getting better every year. Give us a few years and I’ll be happy to bring the Kansas wines to a tasting alongside Washington’s."
Given the unknown limits of technology and the advances in viticultural techniques, wine regions like Kansas can produce outstanding, regional, unique wines if they are encouraged to pursue winemaking. That encouragement really should be coming from the the State’s political leadership.
The problem that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius faces is that technology and science don’t appear to have developed a cure for Foot-in-Mouth Decease.