National Wine Day
We don’t typically need an “official” reason to celebrate over a bottle of wine but today we have one – it’s National Wine Day, celebrated annually on May 25. The growing number of wineries across the US coupled with the proliferation of social media options has prompted more creative ways to celebrate with wine for people of all (legal drinking) ages and beverage preferences. Whether you host a wine tasting at your place to try the latest rosés or meet friends for an evening of professionally paired food and wine, the celebration begins as soon as the cork is popped. Cheers!
HISTORY OF NATIONAL WINE DAY
Wine has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. The natural likeness for this drink is not only because it tastes wonderful, but also because of its nutritional value and psychotropic effects.
Wine has also had a significant impact on the economy and the shaping of societies. Out of all the alcoholic beverages, it is the trade of wine that allowed exploration of different cultures and paved the way for philosophical and religious ideas to spread. Wine is cited frequently in the “Bible,” from the time of Noah to Jesus, indicating its integral role. Wine-making was also seen as a sign of a provident economy, as only provident societies could accommodate a well-established wine industry. In fact, it is often debated that the foundations of western society were built on wine.
The wine enjoyed in the olden days is a distant relative to the wine enjoyed today. Red, pink, green, white, and blue grapes were used by the Egyptians to prepare the drink. Palm dates, figs, and pomegranates were often added to the mix too. So the taste was completely different from what we know. Using different fruit to make wine is similar to how it is prepared using grapes, except that sugar is also added to aid the fermentation process.
The exact origin of National Wine Day is unknown, but the earliest references date back to 2009. It is a day for wine enthusiasts to unite and celebrate our favorite fermented fruit juice.
Since its establishment in 1812 by Spanish missionaries, California’s wine country in the northern Bay Area of northern California has dominated American wine production and our personal vision of the elegant American vineyard. There were a mere 25 wineries in this area of California in 1974. Today, there are over 800!
While California still leads U.S. wine production and is now home to over 4,000 wineries state-wide, wineries exist across the U.S. with at least three in every state. In fact, the most frequently visited winery today is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, with over one million people annually.
This availability of wineries enables us to visit the rolling hills of a beautiful vineyard closer to home. Yes, it is very likely one is near you, within range for a fun day trip or weekend getaway. So, pack your bags and set your G.P.S. to the winery closest to you!
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