National Wine Day is May 25, however I celebrate all year long because wine is one of my favorite beverages. Other favorites include mineral water, green tea, and coffee – so don’t be surprised to see posts about those drinks too!
This year I plan on celebrating National Wine Day with my usual favorites; a nice wine in a pretty cup with Mister Jupiter by my side and some good food…so a normal evening. Otherwise expect more posts like this that exist to celebrate food and drink through the year, because it’s fun overall and I like having casual holidays like this to look forward to.
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Here are my five favorites for National Wine Day:
- Canned brüt
- Italian cups
— CANNED BRÜT
As silly as it may seem, I really enjoy canned wine. It’s my favorite portion in an easy to sip container!
Remember in “the before time” (before COVID-19) when we used to go to friends’ homes? Remember when folks would declare “BYOB?” I remember. I’d still show up with a box of wine once in a while, but if the location was within walking distance I would typically pour wine into a pint glass and go – not full of course’; you always need some headroom to avoid spills. Then -someone rightly put wine in a can.
Laugh if you like, but it’s convenient and I love it. I try to keep one or two cans handy because when a friend invites us over, I don’t like arriving empty handed. Granted the cans aren’t the most sharable medium, but if I know that our destination is only going to have [insert beverage I don’t prefer] available – I will especially BYOB so that I can still have like fun.
Lately I have really taken to enjoying canned carbonated wines because popping bottles makes me jumpy and I am more confident with cans. “Andplusalso” I like casual brüt wines because bubbles don’t have to be reserved for significant events. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that every day is worth celebrating…and also to trust science, get vaccinated, and masks are a public health measure like hand soap and seat belts; just do it!
— ITALIAN CUPS
My experience with wine in Italy is limited, but my big takeaway was that wine is a casual drink, and not as fussy or formal as a lot of Americans make it.
Besides, I really appreciate simple glassware and I fell in love with these simple Italian bodega cups when I saw them online. These are my preferred wine glasses because they are so simple. Their job is to carry liquid, and later stack when not in use. No stems, no particular shapes for different grapes – just cups. They help make wine drinking a casual affair and I always want my guests to feel relaxed in my home, so these cups are a key detail that add to our laid-back atmosphere.
I have these little cups for wine (or espresso, or liquor), but I also have a set of the larger cups that are perfect for beer, water, or anything else that you want in a larger cup.
One day I’ll make boozy popsicles, but until then I prefer any fruit juice popsicle to turn my lazy wine into a chilled sangria with minimal effort.
This is easy -find or make frozen fruit juice popsicles, then add one to each cup of wine- done. Mix and match as you see fit; the only rule to follow is to trust your tastebuds. If you think it tastes good then you did it right! I usually melt popsicles into a room-temp pinot gris, but any wine that you like will work (within reason – I wouldn’t do this to a nice port). For popsicles I prefer lime because I love limes, Mister Jupiter prefers raspberry, and both are delicious.
Just make sure that you’re using a large enough cup to accommodate the melting volume and potential splash. The photo above shows some of our can-shaped glasses.
Every wine-drinking home should have a decanter, but I understand opting for an aerator instead if you have a small kitchen.
This one was a gift and I love it because it’s fun to fill, and easy to pour from (conversely you can just as easily pour the wine back into the original glass if sediment isn’t an issue). This decanter has a shallow punt, and a cap if needed.
I usually decant bottles of red wines, especially if we have company. It’s nice to have one tool that improves taste and presentation at the same time! I don’t have a drying rack for this though. Instead I rinse with super hot water after washing, and let it dry on my regular dish rack for a day or two before it waits in the pantry for the next bottle of young red wine.
I love tastings, especially the ones that you can share with friends and family.
It’s always a fun experience, and my short attention span really enjoys the change every ounce or two. For obvious reasons I’m talking about wine tastings, but I have definitely enjoyed tastings of beer, liquor, cheese, and ice cream. If I can buy three to five curated samples anywhere I will!
My favorite tastings are pairings; a few nibbles to accompany a few sips – and that’s a perfect lunch for me. I operate best on tiny lunches (big mid-day meals make me impossibly drowsy), so dainty wine tastings like these are a big win. Outside of lunches, or if I am not driving, I am still happy to sip tiny wines without food on the side for the usual purpose of buying a few bottles. Definitely chat up your server and get some dinner ideas, then get cooking before the wine gets dusty. For the majority of bottles, wines are intended to be enjoyed within five years of purchasing; not all wines benefit from aging post-cask.
And that’s it for today! I hope you have an excellent National Wine Day, and I’ll be back later for another food or drink related holiday.