February is home to one of the lesser known holidays. No, it is not Valentine’s Day. February 18 is National Drink Wine Day. National Drink Wine Day is a real holiday. I know, I know a holiday which finally recognizes your favorite past-time. It is a joyful moment.
It is undocumented when the holiday was first celebrated, but it is a nationally recognized holiday. National Drink Wine Day was created to celebrate the ceremony and popularity of drinking wine. Drinking wine is woven into the fabric of our culture for over 6,000 years. Wine is used to celebrate milestone moments like weddings, and anniversaries. Wine a part of religious ceremonies and communal events. And, wine is simply enjoyed after a long day of work.
Throughout the years’ wine drinking has been stigmatized. Wine drinkers have been labeled elitists. This unfortunate label may have resulted from wine tasting becoming a career and study. People professing their knowledge, rather than expressing their enjoyment. National Drink Wine Day’s goal is to end this perception and bring the enjoyment and fun back!
If you are unsure how you can celebrate February 18, here are some suggestions:
- Host a “blind” wine tasting – Invite friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of wine. Before you serve the wine, hide the wine label. Give them clues about the wine, then ask them to guess what type of wine you served. A lot of laughter and awes will ensue.
- Make wine cocktails – Vodka, and Gin are not the only bases for a good cocktail. Wine is often used for a good cocktail like a Sangria. Pinterest has several wine cocktails recipes.
- Take a wine tasting class – Wine schools are offering basic wine tasting classes. This is a great opportunity to learn more about wine or wine and food pairings. You can Google wine tasting classes. You will be surprised how many are offered near year.
- Visit a vineyard – Maryland has over 72 vineyards. There is almost a vineyard in every county in Maryland. The Maryland Wine Association has a map and listing of the vineyards in Maryland. Many of the vineyards are opened from noon until 5:00 pm and do not require an appointment.
- Attend an instore wine tasting – Many fine wine stores have free instore tastings on the weekends. Wine distributors are on site to share their latest wine. Some stores have up to 6 wines to taste and will offer discounts when you purchase one of those wines.
- Be adventurous and try a different wine with your favorite dish – We all get stuck in a wine rut. Something different with your favorite dish. The staff at your favorite wine store can assist you with selecting a new wine.
- Order a bottle of wine, instead a glass of wine – Instead of ordering a glass of wine at dinner order the bottle. Especially if you are going to have more than one glass of wine, it may be cheaper to purchase the bottle. There is a sizeable price mark up of wine at restaurants. Do not worry about not finishing the bottle. You can take the bottle home if you do not finish it. Ask the waiter recork the bottle.
- Share the gift of wine – Give your bestie a bottle of their favorite wine. Remember, National Drink Wine Day is to share the wine drinking experience.
- Conduct a vertical wine tasting – A vertical wine tasting is when you try the same type of wine but the producer, region or year is different. For example, you try a Chardonnay from California, New Zealand, South Africa and France. You will be amazed how the same grape is produced differently around the world.
- Pour a glass of wine – Simply open a bottle of wine, pour a glass of wine and enjoy. National Drink Day is meant for you to enjoy the splendor of wine without fanfare.
About the author – Ms. Leslie Frelow is the owner of Vino 301 Wine Concierge an all-inclusive wine tours and events company. She writes a weekly blog about wine tasting and Maryland vineyards. You can read more of Vino 301’s blogs at www.vino301.com/blog Vino 301 Wine Concierge offers wine tours to Maryland’s vineyards and wineries as well as wine tasting classes.