“Do they only have Moravian wine in America?” Such a question could have come straight from the Czech delegation led by Prime Minister Sobotka and Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Hamáček during their US celebration of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in New York, Washington D.C., Texas and Chicago.
November 17, 2014 marks the 25th year since the Velvet Revolution. Apart from the celebration in the Czech Republic, much attention was paid to this anniversary in the USA. The United States has always been a big supporter of the Czechoslovak dissidents – one of the first foreign visits of President Havel led right into the USA where he was honored this year with the placement of a statue in the US Congress.
Two charter flights carried politicians and VIP’s to events in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Texas honoring Vaclav Havel and the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Moravian wine was served at all these events, the first time Moravian wines have been available in so many American cities at the same time.
In Chicago, the new Consul General Bořek Lizec prepared a series of events celebrating Czech cuisine and culture. The first and largest of these was an evening reception for 250 guests including Andrew Schapiro, US Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois State Comptroller of Czech ancestry, and Anton Cermak Kerner, grandson of Mayor Anton Cermak. This took place on the 50th floor of a building belonging to the law firm of Baker and McKenzie with a fantastic view of the city of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Moravian wines were a perfect complement to the evening.
The celebrations continued with Czech Cuisine Days, which took place over three days at the BoHo restaurant. Leading Czech chefs were flown in by the Consulate General to prepare authentic, yet modern Czech cuisine in the Bohemian styled BoHo restaurant. Of course, the meal was carefully paired with Moravian wines by the leading Czech exporter of Moravian wines, Klub Sommelieru, in partnership with Czech Tourism. The quality of the food and wines impressed the journalists and VIP’s in attendance.
Celebrations in other locations were also very sophisticated and posh. In Washington, DC there were two fabulous events – the unveiling of a bust of Vaclav Havel in the US Congress (one of only 4 foreign nationals to receive such an honor) with the follow-up “Václav Havel Gala Evening.” Here the “Rouci” wine from Stapleton-Springer was served alongside a “Vino z Czech” selection.