We could have predicted the whole Watergate thing had we known about Richard Nixon’s wine-drinking habits.
When Nixon assumed the Presidency, he inherited a policy established by Lyndon Johnson: At all state dinners, the wines served had to be American-made.
Not a bad policy, when you think about it. Serving domestic wine was a way of showing off the country’s bounty, and it supported American business.
Nixon did not change that policy, but he did apply a different rule to himself. (Sound familiar?) As the story goes, he would have a glass of his favorite wine — Chateau Margaux, from France — poured in the kitchen, out of the view of guests, and brought to him at the table.
Guests assumed it was part of the long-standing practice of checking the President’s food and beverages for poison.