* Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is claiming that his $450 wine purchase at the Old Angler's Inn was a horrible mistake. According to a report in yesterday's Roll Call quoting an unnamed Gingrich pal, Newt ordered a $68 bottle of 1995 Chateau La Tour Du Pin during dinner with girlfriend Callista Bisek and not the super-pricey 1983 Chateau Latour brought by his waiter. But Gingrich emptied the big-bucks bottle anyway. "My ego took over," he told his friend.
Gingrich wouldn't talk to us yesterday-- Roll Call said he's mad at The Source for revealing his wine choice--but restaurateur Andre Condon was skeptical of his claim. "I thought, we're not dealing with a moron. We're dealing with someone who went to college and was speaker of the House," said Condon, who has offered to donate the $382 difference in price to Newt's favorite charity. "He's been exposed to the world even if he's not knowledgeable about wines. There's a great difference between the 1995 wine and the 1983 wine; they even have different bin numbers." We suggest that the donation go to Reading Is Fundamental.
They were classmates at the University of Michigan 34 years ago, and folks always tell them they look alike. So Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and Vice President Gore's chief of staff, Charles Burson--acting on an idea from Burson's wife, Bunny--showed up at Gore's Halloween party Sunday as "The White House Twins." Shackled together with handcuffs, they wore signs saying "Separated at Birth" and "Rejoined at the Beltway." But after Dan's wife, Rhoda Glickman, accidentally broke the key to the cuffs, they had to be separated again by bolt cutters supplied by the Secret Service.
THIS JUST IN . . .
* Norway's King Harald V, hosting the Middle East peace talks in Oslo, learned a fundamental fact about President Clinton yesterday. Clinton was due at the Royal Palace precisely at 10 a.m. for a formal welcoming ceremony, reports The Post's T.R. Reid. But by then, Clinton hadn't even left his hotel suite two miles away. Waiting beside the empty presidential limousine, a Norwegian diplomat huffed: "Nobody's ever late for the king." When Clinton finally showed up 15 minutes late for his 21-gun salute, the Norwegians bit their tongues. But last night, a Norwegian reporter demanded from White House press secretary Joe Lockhart: "Please, can you tell me what is meant by 'Clinton Time?' "
* When he promised a dollar discount for every Redskins touchdown on every pizza sold the day after the game, Domino's Pizza mogul Frank Meeks wasn't expecting the six TDs scored by the Skins against the Chicago Bears. After each trip to the end zone, Redskins czar Daniel Snyder ribbed him in the owner's box: "There's another one you have to pay for." Meeks, who owns 58 Washington area outlets, expected the Skins' success to cost him about $1.8 million yesterday.
The Source's Exciting (Free) Advice to Al Gore
Now that we know Vice President Gore's weird and expensive tastes in campaign consultants--such as feminist author Naomi Wolf, whom Gore has been paying $15,000 a month to help him "speak from the heart" and dress better--we got to thinking about other creative types he can lure to his cause for outrageous fees. Our friend Christopher Buckley came up with the following recommendations for the Gore camp's consulting budget:
* $20,000 a month to Frank McCourt to advise Gore on how to spin his childhood at the Fairfax Hotel into a tale of misery and destitution.
* $20,000 a month to Edmund Morris to advise on how to convince voters that he saved 78 people from drowning at the St. Albans pool.
* $1,000 a month to Stephen King to advise on his Halloween costume.
* $5,000 a month to Leon Wieseltier to advise on "hair" and "hugging" issues.
* $50,000 a month to George Stephanopoulos to advise on how to distance himself from, er, "one of our greatest presidents."
The Source's Exciting He-Man Challenge: According to Time magazine, Wolf is also earning her keep by telling the veep that he's a "Beta male," and needs to stand up to President Clinton to become an "Alpha male." We immediately wondered about various public figures in Washington: Who's a Beta male and who's an Alpha male? Please e-mail your votes, along with explanations, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish the best submissions.
CAPTION: The dream team? From top: McCourt, Morris, King, Wieseltier and Stephanopoulos.