At the start of each New Year, there are a few common posts out there. The first is the Year in Review kind of posts where the author selects his or her top wines of the previous year. I have done this type of post before (and reserve the right to do one again–maybe even this week), but it requires a ton of work and while the vast majority of wine these days are good the truly outstanding wines rarely find their way to my doorstep (come to think about it, the powers that be might be trying to tell me something there).
Another type of post is “The Year’s Wine News in Review.” To that, I usually respond with a less than enthusiastic “Ugh.” Most of the “news” that occurs in the wine world these days is either bad, worse, or downright depressing. Between Climate Change/Global Warming, Large Behemoth Wine Groups buying tiny interesting wineries (and instantly making them less interesting), huge wildfires (I guess that is part of Climate Change), or the passing of a particularly talented or innovative individual.
Depressing, depressing, depressing.
The third type of post is a look ahead to the coming year either possible trends, the next hot variety (which never turns out to be the case–I’m still waiting for Syrah to take off”), or the coming Wine Days of the Year.
It is that last type of post that I would like to address today.
Wine Days are, in a word, stupid. There, I said it. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of people who celebrate such “days” do not need any excuse to open a bottle of wine on any particular day. Are you telling me schmucks celebrating Chardonnay Day (the Thursday before Memorial Day every year–this year May 21st) don’t already have a sheet-ton of Chard in their house and will probably pop at least one bottle of Chardonnay a week, every week, in perpetuity?
Regardless, here is a list of all such days that I have been able to find for this year (and maybe a thought or two about what I think about them).
- The absolutely only thing I could find was the New Hampshire Wine Week. There were no specific dates given other than it “centers around the Winter Wine Spectacular on January 23.” That is a Thursday, so perhaps the rest of the week is reserved to shovel out the eight feet of snow that will be covering the Subaru so that you can make it to the “Spectacular.”
- All Month: Delaware Wine Month. OK, exactly half of the 50 states in this fine country have some sort of state-wide wine “celebration” but Delaware? Delaware? And a month all to itself (albeit February)? There are precisely five wineries in the entire state, which have “very limited production of mostly fruit wine” according to the leading source on Delaware wine, Wikipedia. I think that says all I need to say. OK, one more word: Delaware?
- 18th (Tuesday): National Drink Wine Day. This has to be up there with the dumbest names of all time. “Drink wine day”? I call that “today.” How long did it take the geniuses at travellingcorkscrew.com (who “proposed” this day back in 2016) to come up with that? (I have never met the folks at the aforementioned site, they could be fine people for all I know–no matter how creatively challenged they clearly are.)
29th (Saturday): Open That Bottle Night. By far this is the best “wine day” on this list and second place is barely ahead of Delaware. Created in the year 2000 by wife/husband team of Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher when they were at the Wall Street Journal, the concept is simple. If you have a bottle of wine that you have been saving for the “right” occasion (a celebration, a promotion, a child finally getting married), but the occasion never seems to be “right” enough, this is the day of the year that you should open it. Just, well, because. No need for that wine to go bad waiting for you to have something good to eventually happen in your life. Just Open That Bottle. It’s always the last Saturday in February, which this year is a tad more special.
- All Month: New York (NY Drinks NY), Washington (Taste Washington), and Maryland (Maryland Wine Month). While Maryland gets extra points for alliteration, it then loses them based on the fact that there is no indication on the website if it is planned again for this year (if it isn’t, you could always attend the Annapolis Oyster Roast and Sock Burning on March 21st, that sounds, um, appealing?).
- 3rd (Tuesday): National Mulled Wine Day. Mulled wine? Let me mull that over (sorry). Um, no. I dislike hot beverages as a rule so why would I heat up perfectly fine wine and then add a bunch of crap to it?
- 20th-29th: Georgia Wine Highway Week. Um, huh? Wine Highway? I believe it is illegal to drink wine while driving in just about every state. Even Georgia (but maybe not one of its immediate neighbors…).
- Celebrate Vermont Wine! Last year (2019), this took place March 24-31, but, despite the enthusiasm indicated by the exclamation point, there is no indication of what the dates might be this year, but I respect Vermont for limiting their Celebration! to just a week (are you listening Delaware?). I imagine there is not a whole lot to plan, or perhaps they are off burning their underwear (since burning socks is sooo last year).
- 17th (Friday): Malbec World Day. This is sponsored and promoted by Wines of Argentina. So when they say “World” I am pretty sure they mean “Argentina.”
- All Month: Iowa Wine Month, Oregon Wine Month, Michigan Wine Month (more alliteration and it used to be in April–I grew up in Michigan, moving this to May was brilliant [of course, one could equally say that having it in April was far from bright]), and Finger Lakes Wine Month (apparently, the Finger Lakes does not get enough love in March during NY Drinks NY).
- 1st (Friday): International Sauvignon Blanc Day. Meh. Is this anyone’s favorite variety? It certainly isn’t mine, but I love me some Sancerre, so I will let it slide. Always the first Saturday in May.
- 9th (Saturday): World Moscato Day. This was started back in 2012 by Gallo Family Vineyards. Why? I have no idea. Nothing against Moscato, per se, but of all wine varieties, does Moscato really deserve its own day? My mother-in-law digs the stuff though, so take that for what it’s worth.
- 15th-16th: Toast Nebraska Wine Festival. If I were being true to form, I would take a moment to poo-poo the thought of “Nebraska Wine” but I won’t. Why? It seems that the folks organizing the event have their collective “stuff” together. First, they have an up and running website with this year’s dates prominently displayed. They have a brief, slick video (albeit from 2018) promoting the event. Some bright individual realized that it only needed to be two days long (insert snotty quip about “wine” from Nebraska). And, by far the best part, the event takes place in a pumpkin patch. Priceless.
- 16th (Saturday): Granholm Day. Back in 2005 the Supreme Court ruled, in brief, that out of state wineries had to be treated just like in-state wineries. Everyone in the wine world (including me) thought that this was a game-changer and the cluster-you-know-what that is the three-tier system would soon come tumbling down. Well, that didn’t happen and not much has really changed. People who celebrate this day are therefore basically idiots. Or drunks. Or both.
- 21st: International Chardonnay Day. (The Thursday before Memorial Day) Generally speaking, I support this whole-heartedly as I love me some Chard. But I drink it all the stinking time–I don’t need a former Nike Exec and Oregon Duck loving sommelier (Rick Bakas) to tell me when to drink the stuff. Yeah. No. Pass me some Chassagne, please. Now.
- 24th: The Judgment of Paris. Americans like to puff out their chest when it comes to this “contest” in 1976 when a couple of American wines beat out their French counterparts in a blind tasting. No one ever also points out that American wines also came in dead last. And ask the French–not one French person has ever heard of this. At. All. I once beat a guy, who once finished third in the Tour de France to the top of a hill. Keyword: once. You think he remembers that? (Well, I make sure he does every time we ride at which point he crushes all my hopes and dreams within the first two kilometers).
- 25th: National Wine Day. Another pack of marketing Einsteins decided to create this day. When? I have no flipping idea since I really don’t care since they probably also created “National Poop Day.”
- All Month: Ohio Wine Month, Idaho Wine Month. I was going to take a shot at both of these since, well, you know, but I heard that Idaho whites are actually quite good (but I don’t remember who told me that, so it could have been the ramblings of a moron) and my entire family is from Ohio. Yeah. I know. Sorry.
- 13th (Saturday): National Rosé Day. This is on the second Saturday in June and I love the pink, so I am all for it. But, again, I drink pink all year long, so…
- 27th (Saturday): International Rosé Day. In almost any other case, I would be shouting through my fingers right now that the Rosé folks need to huddle up and decide on one day–I never like being told what to do and being told to do pretty much the same thing twice within two weeks would cause me to search for the perpetrators and punch them in the neck. But, alas, I do love the pink. And this second day was proposed by none other than Valérie Rousselle, owner of Châteaux Roubine and Sainte Béatrice in Provence. Why is that important? Well, I stayed at her lovely home this past June and she let me drink all the rosé I wanted (which was a lot), so she, and her Day, get a pass.
I will be back with the rest of the calendar tomorrow.