Raise A Glass To…

I was reminded in an email from Oliver Winery in Indiana that this coming Saturday, August 4, is National Mead Day. So, if you have a bottle handy, raise a glass of mead to celebrate.

This got me thinking about other days that are already (in one place or another) given over to the celebration of wine, grapes and the fermenting arts. Interestingly enough, there are a number of patron saints who protect different parts of the wine/grape professions. You’ll notice, as you read through the list, that many of the saints’ days are in the winter, which is a great time to throw a Saint’s Day party (a quiet time when sales are slow).

  • January 22: St Vincent – patron saint of Wine Makers and Vinegar Makers (possibly the same person sometimes?).
  • January 23: St. Urban – Vintners and Barrel Makers.
  • February 6:  St Amand –  Brewers and Vintners. He lived to be 90, which in the year 675 was definitely a ripe old age. Must have been the wine…
  • February 14: In Bulgaria, skip St. Valentine – we’re celebrating St. Tryphon or Triton’s Day – Vineyards and Vineyard Workers.
  • February 17: St. Walter of Pontnoise – Vintners and Prisoners of War (an interesting combination).
  • June 3:  St Morand – generally people in the grape and wine trade. Supposedly St. Morand lived on a single bunch of grape each Lent (40 days). What I want to know is where he got grapes in February and March?
  • July 6: St. Goar of Aquitaine – Vine Growers.
  • August 10:  St. Lawrence – Wine Makers and Vine Growers.
  • November 8th: St. Martin – Wine Makers and Beggars (hummm!).

Moving into more modern times there are days devoted to specific grapes:

  • April 17: Malbec
  • May 16:  Chardonnay
  • June 12: Sauvignon
  • September 23: Grenache

And of course, February 18 is National Drink Wine Day, while May 25th is National Wine Day, and September is “California Wine Celebration” month.

There a lots of days to gear up for a celebration, if you are so inclined.  Let me know if you are planning a party of St. Martin’s Day – the patron saint of Winemakers and Beggars, I want to take part in the “Tell the winemakers from the beggars” contest…

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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