We’re always looking for a reason — it doesn’t even have to be a good reason. — to open a bottle of wine.
On the 4th of July, for instance, California sparkling wine adds to the enjoyment of watching children with their own (different kind of) sparklers and the massive fireworks displays on television.
Other wine-producing countries have their own national days, presenting additional reasons to get out the corkscrew. For an authentic experience, it’s fun to drink wines of that country, and nosh on its food as well.
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit in German) is the national day in Germany. It’s celebrated on Oct. 3, the date in 1990 when the country’s reunification was formally completed. That calls for a nice Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner or Spatburgunder (a.k.a. Pinot Noir).
Spain’s national day, La Fiesta Nacional de España, occurs just nine days later on Oct. 12. It commemorates the day in 1492 when the first expedition of Christopher Columbus claimed the Americas for Spain. While also a federal holiday here in the United States, there’s no reason not to open a bottle of Spanish Cava, Tempranillo, Albarino or Rioja.
We have to wait until next June — the 2nd, to be precise — for the Italian national holiday known as the Festa Della Repubblica, or the Festival of the Republic. It’s quite similar to America’s Independence Day, and celebrates the official formation of the Republic of Italy following World War II. That calls for any number of Italy’s wonderful Sangiovese-based wines, such as Chianti Classico, or a nice bottle of bubbly Prosecco.
Then 10 days after our own Independence Day next year, the National Day of France — more commonly known as Bastille Day in English — is celebrated with fireworks and parades. It marks the fall of Bastille, a military fortress and prison, on July 14, 1789, signaling the beginning of the French Revolution. Sounds like reason enough to open a bottle of Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy or Chablis.
There are 195 countries in the world today. Not all of them make wine. But the ones that do — and do it well — are worth celebrating.