Food & Drink

How to Drink Wine Like Kamala Harris

Hope you like Chardonnay!

Kamala Harris wine
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images; Illustration: Maitane Romagosa/Thrillist

George Washington once owned the nation’s largest whiskey distillery. John Adams reportedly drank a hard cider every morning for breakfast. Barack Obama brewed his own honey ale during his time in office. And it looks like the 46th presidential administration could bring wine back to the White House.

The bottles wouldn’t belong to Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden though. If elected, he would join the ranks of non-drinking presidents like his predecessor who prefers Diet Coke, George W. Bush who “retired” from drinking by the time he occupied the White House, and Jimmy Carter who kept the president’s mansion dry.

But current California Senator and Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris has been tied to wine on numerous occasions from pouring a glass herself to using her time on Capitol Hill to push for legislation that supports the $220 billion wine industry.

Harris’ love of grapes just makes sense. Most of the industry, which employs more than 1 million Americans, operates out of her home state of California, and she’s from Oakland and Berkeley which both have notable food scenes and urban wineries abound. Plus, she’s a foodie who’s hosted Instagram live cooking demonstrations with chefs Tom Colicchio and José Andrés.

She recently threw parties for her senate staff and presidential campaign team at wineries across the country. But Harris not only drinks wine during her off time -- she also advocates for winemakers as a member of the Congressional Wine Caucus. The group was founded to “protect the interests of our vibrant wine community from grape to glass,” Alex Macfarlane, the group’s communications director said in an email, and the California senator has been a member since she was sworn into the Senate in 2017.

Harris’ office, unsurprisingly, did not return our request to discuss her drinking habits, but there are some breadcrumbs lurking around the internet that led us to bottles she’s bought and details on her favorite wine accessories. We dug through old photos, watched videos and Instagram lives, and even stalked who she follows on social media to pull together this list.

So here’s everything you need to drink wine like Kamala Harris:

Drink Robert Mondavi’s Chardonnay
We know Harris is a whiz in the kitchen, so it only makes sense that she’d be in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. And according to this photo posted on her Facebook page in 2018, it seems like she enjoyed some of Robert Mondavi’s affordable Chardonnay while roasting the bird.
Available on Drizly for $9.19 plus shipping

Or try Ramey Wine Cellars’ Chardonnay
So we haven’t seen her actually drink this brand, but she’s been known to buy a bottle or two. Harris and Sen. Ted Cruz made a bet on the outcome of the World Series, as per Senate tradition, back in 2017 and after the Houston Astros topped the Los Angeles Dodgers, Harris made good on her promise with a bottle of white wine (most likely a Chardonnay) from Sonoma County’s Ramey Wine Cellars.
Available online, prices range from $42-$145

Become a member of Rock Wall Wine Co.
The California senator seems to enjoy her home state’s varietals and, naturally, she’s a member of a wine club in her area. Harris is a member of Rock Wall Wine Co., an urban winery located in an old airplane hanger in Alameda, California, the owner confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle. The winery puts out an eclectic array of wines (and they didn’t return a request for comment about which bottles Harris favors), but luckily membership options range from two bottles (one red and one white) to six mixed bottles so you can try them all. According to The Chronicle, she picks up the wine herself, so who knows, maybe you’ll run into her and you can find out her favorite for yourself.
Memberships and individual bottles available online

Or grab a couple bottles from Cork Wine Bar and Market
This DC wine bar called itself The Official Wine Bar of Kamala Harris for VP, and there’s some truth to that. Harris hosted a holiday party for staff there in 2019 and has been known to frequent the bar, Washingtonian reported, and the bar’s owners said she really knows her wine. Harris likes her California grapes, of course, but Cork doesn’t sell any domestics wines, so chances are she’s sampled a few of the more than 300 bottles the bar has on the shelves, and you should, too.
Available for pickup and delivery

And the simplest way: make sure you have a good ice cube tray
Service industry folks in the District are no stranger to Capitol Hill clientele so lore of these VIP’s eating and drinking habits run rampant through town. None of our contacts would fess up about what typically fills Harris’ glass, but bartender Zac Hoffman said that he once delivered some ice cubes for Harris to plop into her glass of wine at Mirabelle, an opulent, White House-adjacent French bistro. Some oenophiles would turn their nose up at such a habit -- but if it’s good enough for the vice presidential nominee, it’s good enough for me.
This one (with a lid for easy storage!) is available at Food52

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Liz Provencher is an editorial assistant at Thrillist. If you are Kamala Harris (or have tips on her favorite bottles), you can email her at lprovencher@thrillist.com. Otherwise, you can follow her on Instagram.