There is, it seems, a “national” day for everything. Whether the excuse just be marketing, or a genuine effort to appreciate an item, it is no reason not to celebrate.
It seems like the biggest (literally) decision one can make today is what size bottle to get. In general, larger wine bottle sizes are well-suited to a longer aging of wine, because of the smaller ratio of SO2 gas, (sulphur dioxide and oxygen) that occupies the space at the top of the bottle between the cork and the wine. The less air the surface of the wine is exposed to, the slower the wine will develop. However, very large bottles are very heavy.
A standard wine bottle holds 750 milliliters of wine, supposedly the perfect amount for two people to share (my husband would take issue with that; he thinks “one bottle” means “one person”). But there are other options, including, but not limited to:
Who are these people for whom the bottle sizes are named? Most of them are biblical figures.
Jeroboam was Founder and first king of Israel, 931-910 BC.
Rehoboam, a son of Solomon and a grandson of David. Rehoboam himself reigned for 17 years, had 18 wives and 60 concubines. They bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters. He undoubtedly had many occasion to hit the wine bottle.
Methuselah is named for the oldest man mentioned by age in the Bible, allegedly living to the age of 969. He was also Noah’s grandfather. (Some scholars believe Methuselah’s given age is the result of an ancient mistranslation that converted “months” to “years”, producing a more credible 969 lunar months, or 78½ years.)
Nebuchadnezzar actually is a reference to Nebuchadnezzar the Second, who was the King of Babylon from 605-562 B.C. Both the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple are ascribed to him.
Melchizedek is named for the King of Peace in the Book of Genesis. Notably, Genesis 14:18 reports: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was [is] the priest of the most high God.”
Balthazar and Melchior are names of two of the Three Wise Men from the New Testament. (The third was Caspar – why no bottle for him? Well, at least he got venerated as a Catholic saint, even if he has no bottle.)
What about the geography of wine? Yes, it’s a science, and a fascinating one. Grape-growing regions have distinguishable geographic features and boundaries. You can see some fascinating 3-D maps of wine growing areas here.
Not so much into drinking wine? There are still a lot of things you can use it for, from hot fudge sauce to lemon chicken, cakes, mushroom sauce, and so on. Check out a sample list here!