In future the guests of the Élysée Palace will have to renounce to the consumption of expensive wines. According to an article on the french newspaper "Le Monde", President Hollande auctioned part of the 15.000 wines of his private collection.
In contrast to former president Sarkozy, who didn't feel like renouncing to expensive wine, Hollande stands for cost-cutting policy. The yearly expenses of 250.000 Euro for wines seem "exagerated" and "ridiculous" to his eyes and should be decreased. "3000 Euros per bottle shouldn't be paid out of public treasury", Hollande stated in an interview.
Exemplary or decandent?
Public opinion differs when it comes to the auction of statal french wine. What appears as an exemplary attitude in times of crisis to some, seems decadent or inappropriate to others.
"Famous french wines or champagnes are french statal symbols and renouncing to them is just not the right way", a french entrepreneur referred to the newspaper.
In any case, the wine collection has been auctioned at the end end of may in the Parisian auction house "Drout". The auction attracted more than 200 interested people, among them were sommeliers from all french regions and from outside.
The cheapest bottle was sold for 350 Euros, a Petrus of 1990 on the other hand, was bought at a price of 5800 Euros.
The happy auctioner of this exclusive wine was Fan Dongxing, an importer of foreign wines. He travelled to Paris from Shanghai just to take part in the auction. "Chinese people love French wines. It's a big honour for us that this wine comes from the Élysée Palace", Dongxing commented about his successful offer.
With the sale of approximately every tenth bottle of the Élysée wine cellar, now there is space for new and cheaper wines. The rest of the auction income will go into the damaged State Budget.
French Wine Tradition
The Champagne collection of France goes back to 1947, when in times of monarchy it was a costume to offer a glass of french wine or champagne to the visitors to broaden the reputation of french wine. Brands as Petrus, Roederer, Yquem, Lafite, Mouton Rotschild, Dom Pérignon, Figeac, Margaux, Haut Brion, Veuve Cliquot and Cheval Blanchave always been present at important celebrations and were always in easy reach of diplomatic representants.
De Gaulle was a fan of Drappier Champagne, Pompidou preferred the Chateau Lafite. Giscard served Margaux to his visitors, Mitterand preferred to toast with Haut Marbuzet and Chirac loved to drink Mouton Rotschild with dinner. And Sarkozy? I am sorry to disappoint you but actually his favourite drink was diet coke.
Which wine do you prefer? Here some suggestions:
Domaine Albert Grivault - Meursault Clos Des Perrières 1Er Cru 2007
Château Raymond-Lafon Sauternes 1989