National drink wine day AND Presidents' Day
February 18th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Wine rules! Appropriately enough, February 18 is both Presidents' Day and National Drink Wine Day.

It might be coincidence that Presidents' Day and National Wine Day coincide, but our nation’s leaders would probably find it fitting. That’s because since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, American presidents have enjoyed drinking wine. So much so that our Founding Fathers celebrated the event with glasses of Madeira.

Not every president enjoyed wine, some preferred spirits and some like Lincoln didn’t drink much at all.

"Wine from long habit has become an indispensible for my health." Thomas Jefferson might have been on to something when he made that statement. The third president of the United States was known to enjoy his wine, a trait aided by his time served as ambassador to France.

Jefferson enjoyed European wines and tried to plant vineyards of similar grapes in his home state of Virginia. While he wasn’t successful at the time, there’s a wine festival in his honor there every year.

If Jefferson was known to have stocked the White House cellars with wines from around the world for presidents to come, Richard Nixon was known have poured the cheap stuff to his guests while he drank the best. Nixon reportedly enjoyed Château Margaux from France. While he enjoyed a glass at state dinners, wait staff were instructed to pour cheaper wines to the guests, while hiding the label with a napkin.

After Nixon, more and more American wines have been served and stored at the White House. Ronald Reagan was among the first presidents who really embraced this form of and it’s stuck every since.

While most former presidents enjoyed their wine, only one was known to have actually grown it. Jimmy Carter inherited his family’s wine recipe as well as 15 acres of grapes in Georgia. He’s been making wine ever since, putting out about 100 bottles every few years.

George Washington, whiskey maker
Drink like a Founding Father
Sampling the spirits of a president's old haunt
Hoecakes and a little bit of presidential food history

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News • Presidents Day • White House

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. M T Nest

    After reading about the horse meat, I think I need a glass of wine.

    February 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
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