It is no coincidence, I am convinced, that my birthday, February 18, has also been designated as Global Drink Wine Day. I firmly believe that I have led by example, that the Board of Wine Holiday Determiners noted the daily enthusiasm with which I, well, drink wine, and said to themselves, “When the hell else would we put it?”
Oh, all right. That’s not what happened at all. The sad fact is that there is no Board of Wine Holiday Determiners, and that most holidays devoted to wine, whether dedicated to particular types or just to its consumption in general, have been invented and placed on the calendar by… well, in most cases, who the hell knows?
The calendar is well-stocked with food and drink holidays of every kind, in fact (if “holidays” is the right word; as far as I know, none of them is observed by the U.S. Postal Service or the banking community, and only the most enlightened of employers are likely to give their workers the day off). We acknowledge a lot of these occasions in the little daily calendar box to the left of our logo on The Daily Meal home page. Some of them were actually decreed by governmental or trade organizations (the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations named June 1 as Milk Day; National Peanut Butter Day, January 24, was the inspiration of the National Peanut Board), but the vast majority just simply got made up.
The procedure usually seems to go something like this: An enthusiast or group of enthusiasts for a certain foodstuff or beverage decides that if there isn’t a day designated to honor their favored bite or tipple there certainly should be, and chooses a day at random. (The dates don’t necessarily make sense: Peach Melba Day is January 13, hardly peach season; the day set aside for honoring gazpacho, that quintessential summer soup, is December 6.) Next comes the Facebook page (usually) and the listing (almost always) on a wide variety of websites devoted in whole or in part to these special days, and before you know it, they’ve become a part, to a greater or lesser degree, of American and international food lore.
I’m frankly not sure that I need to know much about the genesis of Blueberry Popover Day (March 10), Candied Orange Peel Day (May 4), or National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day (November 15). Given my intimate association with Global Drink Wine Day, however, I did investigate some 17 national and international wine-themed holidays. (If I’ve missed any key ones, or if you have any further information about any of the occasions I’ve singled out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)