Before social media gave us the ability to instantly tell every single one of our friends about something of interest, I don't think food or drink marketing holidays did much for food or drink marketing. There wasn't a easy way for everyone to know about National Peanut Butter Lovers Month or National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.
Now that with the click of a mouse, anyone can tell 400 of their closest friends about one of these marketing holidays and those 400 closest friends can tell their 400 closest friends and so on — those doing the marketing have some influence.
My Facebook feed is aflutter with excitement about the national holiday on Feb. 18: National Drink Wine Day. There's not much information about who's behind the creation of this day dedicated to popping corks, but whoever it is has gotten our collective attention ... as if wine drinkers needed a reason to drink wine.
Here are a few selections from recent wines I've had if you're looking for something new to drink for this oh-so-important national holiday.
Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris, New Zealand. My absolute favorite flower scent is jasmine. and when I open a wine that sends wisps of jasmine out of a wine glass, I inhale more deeply. The scent of this white wine was welcoming to me, and the crisp flavors of pear, apple, honey and some lemony-citrus were perfect last unusually warm December when I first tasted this wine. This is a wine you want to start drinking now to hurry spring along. It's about $20 retail.
Mt. Beautiful's wines are certified sustainable and created in the up-and-coming North Canterbury appellation of New Zealand. The vineyards that were first planted in 2003 and the newly built winery are a "long-term project that focuses on the adoption of sustainable practices to preserve the landscape for generations to come."
Argenses Red Blend, Argentina. I've been working my way through the Spanish and Argentinian wine sections of my local liquor store and grabbed this bottle one night when friends were coming over for a simple spaghetti and meatball dinner. This blend of 40 percent malbec, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon and 20 percent merlot was earthy and a little spicy and complemented the pasta and red sauce nicely. Decanting or hyperdecanting will help this wine a bit, but it's not necessary.
I can't find much about this wine online, including a link to the winery or a really good picture of the bottle, but it's worth tracking down at your local wine merchant. Wines from Argentina can be a good value for the money and this one certainly is. It was $8.99 at my local store.
Espiral Vinho Verde, Portugal. I have been drawn to Vinho Verdes and never pass up the opportunity to try a new one since discovering this effervescent Portuguese wine when I randomly picked up a bottle of Casal Garcia. They are light, refreshing and fruit-forwarded — usually with pears, apples and citrus, but they're not sweet. The Espiral Vinho Verde is a nice example of this white wine style, and the price can't be beat.
I had this wine at a friend's house when we all brought some bottles and tasty food to munch on. It was the first bottle opened, and everyone loved its easy drinking profile and how it complemented so many of the foods in front of us. After some research I discovered this is a Trader Joe's wine, a little pricier than the store's famous Two Buck Chuck, but not much more. It retails for $4.99 to $5.99 a bottle, depending on which state it's sold in.
The three wines I've selected are all wines that are ready to drink now — no aging necessary. Head to your local wine merchant to see if they're on the shelves. If they don't have these specific wines, ask for recommendations. A good wine merchant will love to answer your wine questions.