Chance Encounters: Selling the Bidens on Chianti Classico

Il Molino di Grace co-owner Daniel Grace seizes an opportunity to chat Tuscan wine with President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

Chance Encounters: Selling the Bidens on Chianti Classico
President Joseph Biden—not seen here dining at Fiola Mare—ponders his next Chianti pairing. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Nov 23, 2021

What do you do when a neighboring table at one of Washington, D.C.’s top restaurants happens to be occupied by none other than President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden? Why, you offer them your family’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, of course.

That’s just the scenario that Daniel Grace, co-owner of Tuscany's Il Molino di Grace with his father, Frank, was faced with recently while dining at chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Fiola Mare, a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner on the Potomac River in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. “Rather serendipitously, we found ourselves at one of our top accounts in D.C., Fiola Mare, being frisked and screened by Secret Service and seated just a table away from the Bidens,” Grace told Wine Spectator via email. “When I half-jokingly suggested to [sommelier Megumi Awaya], a good friend, that we send over a bottle of our ’15 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione … she not-so-jokingly replied that I should present it myself! An on-the-spot background check and a rather surreal chat with their chief of staff and Secret Service later, I found myself tableside for 15 minutes(!) chatting all things Sangiovese to the President and Dr. Biden, who fortuitously is of Italian heritage and loves super Tuscans and Classicos!”

Il Molino di Grace winery co-owner Daniel Grace and Fiola Mare sommelier Megumi Awaya]
Step 1 for Daniel Grace: Befriend Fiola Mare sommelier Megumi Awaya. (Courtesy of Daniel Grace)
Il Molino di Grace winery co-owner Daniel Grace speaks with President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at Fiola Mare restaurant in Washington, D.C.]
Step 2: Dazzle the Leader of the Free World with your family's Chianti Classico. (Courtesy of Daniel Grace)

”Being the optimist (and opportunist) that I am, I of course also offered as much Panzano vino as the White House cellar could hold, should there be any reason to pour an American family’s authentic Classicos and super Tuscans at any Italian/American state event,” Grace added. We’ll report back if the Bidens accept Grace’s invitation to visit his family’s estate and dine in the Il Molino di Grace “tree house” cabin …


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