Monday, June 29, 2009

patriotic reasons to drink wine

In the spirit of Independence Day, we resume the countdown of 101 reasons to drink wine with an homage to the founding fathers.

50. Thomas Jefferson, who died at age 83 on July 4, 1826 (the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence) likely owed his longevity in part to his lifelong habit of moderate wine consumption. The average life was about half of Jefferson's long and productive span in those times. And there was no greater fan of wine in America.
"Good wine is a necessity of life for me."
--Thomas Jefferson

51. Benjamin Franklin was another lover of wine and the good life. Among his many useful observations he noted "Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance." I say a penny saved is a penny you can spend on wine. But reflecting on the miracle of turning water into wine, Franklin says it best:
"But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy."

52. Count John Adams among the founding enophiles. During a sea blockade that reulted in wine imports being curtailed, Adams wrote to his beloved Abigail from Philadephia:

"I would give three guineas for a barrel of your cyder. Not one drop of it to be had here for gold, and wine is not to be had under sixty-eight dollars per gallon, and that very bad ... In short, I am getting nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this cause alone. Rum is forty shillings a gallon, and bad water will never do in this hot climate in summer where acid liquors are necessary against infection." Adams died the same day as Jefferson, at age 90.

53. And not to be left out is George Washington. While not the enthusiast Jefferson was, he appreciated the importance of wine in daily living and health, and kept a well-stocked cellar. So this holiday raise a toast to the founding fathers.

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