Georgian Wine for Missile Shield Toast

WARSAW — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski celebrated the signing of a missile-shield deal last week with Georgian wine, a choice sure to leave a bitter taste for Russia.

Moscow, which is embroiled in a flap with the West over Russia's military incursion into Georgia, is fiercely opposed to the missile-defense shield, saying it poses a direct threat to its own security.

Poland said the choice of Georgian 2005 Kakhetian Royal wine to complement Polish pike-perch at a dinner hosted by Sikorski was not meant as a slight to Russia.

"[Rice] smiled and, if I remember correctly, said she had had a chance to deal with Georgia and its politicians, but had not tasted its wine," Deputy Foreign Minister Ryszard Schnepf told the Polish newspaper Dziennik.