The Smithsonian Discovers Wine (and Food)

How appropriate that just two days before Thanksgiving (one week ago today), a new exhibition devoted to food would open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

The exhibition focuses on the last five decades of the 20th century, when the ways and the things Americans ate changed markedly.

The names of the main sections of the exhibition provide a pretty clear outline of what guests can expect:

  • Julia Child’s Kitchen
  • New and Improved!
  • Resetting the Table
  • Wine for the Table

That’s right, the Smithsonian has noticed and acknowledged the strong connection between food and wine. Here’s how the American History museum’s website describes it:

“Wine—the fermented juice of grapes or other fruit—has been part of European life for centuries, but in America, wine traditions struggled to take root. From Thomas Jefferson’s failed efforts to cultivate French grapevines in Virginia to the onset of Prohibition, the desire to produce wine for the table on American soil seemed beyond reach. But in the second half of the 20th century, a community of California dreamers would spark a revolution in a bottle that not only realized Jefferson’s vision, but changed the entire world of wine.”

Napa Valley wine pioneer Warren Winiarski, speaking at a fundraising dinner in D.C. the night before the exhibition opened, said, “The history of the American wine industry is a part of our history and a key element of the future. I strongly support the Smithsonian and their exhibit on American wine and food, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

We’re told that Winiarski shared the 2006 vintage of his Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars “FAY” Cabernet Sauvignon with guests, making it a truly VIP affair. The FAY Vineyard is one of Napa Valley’s most acclaimed, and the Cabernet Sauvignon it produces is world-class in every way.

If you’ve never been to the Smithsonian, you owe it to yourself to visit… and now, you have an excellent reason to make the trip. You can check the American History museum’s hours and get other useful information to help plan your visit here.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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