One of the biggest social events of the decade is taking place today, Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. The wine that the wedding guests will find waiting for them in their hotel and inn rooms is one not often seen by California shoppers. It is a varietal called Seyval Blanc.
The details of this major media event have unsurprisingly been kept mostly under lock and key. However one of the details that the press have been made privvy to is the wine guests will be receiving. The guests staying at one of the local establishments will find a bottle of Clinton Vineyards Tribute a Seyval Blanc wine waiting for them in their rooms. Being from California, I did not recognize this varietal and so did a little research and found out why. This is a white grape, a hybrid type known for its high acidity. It does well in cooler growing regions which is also why it is most commonly seen in the north-eastern areas of the US. Clinton Vineyards is in Clinton Corners, New York.
As part of my research on this grape varietal I also accessed the federal government’s agency’s (the TTB’s) website. Once there I quickly found the link to their approved grape names list. This agency, known for short these days as the TTB gives the official blessing to all grape varietal names before they are allowed to be used on a wine label. This list is currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 total. Sure enough, on that list in the “S” section was Seyval Blanc. I also spotted some others that I found rather amusing such as Blue Eye and Watergate and wondered where in the world would those have come from?
Clinton Vineyards has had a relationship with the Clinton family going back to the initial inauguration in 1993 when they created a special wine they named “Victory” was served. The use of these types of special names is often put under the category of what the TTB refers to as “fanciful names”. Clinton Vineyards also makes several other dessert wines with unique name identifiers. Some of these are “Embrace”, “Romance” and “Desire”. Certainly any of these might be making a showing at the wedding today, however no details have shown up confirming that.
If you are interested in viewing that entire list of approved grape names on the ttb’s website just go to their site at: <a target=”_new” rel=”nofollow” href=”http://ttb.gov/wine”>http://ttb.gov/wine</a> and locate their link on the left side for approved grape names.