16th June: The Powers That Be: Zero. History: One. (A perfect reason to drink.)

It’s 16th June, 1784 and Holland bans people wearing orange colored clothes. Obviously they allege its got something to do with Royal blood lines or politics or God’s dislike of that particular hue but, in reality, it was probably just the powers that be being idiots; one more tremendous and pointless show of power to keep people in their rightful oppressed place.

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My regular readers of this site (3, maybe 4)  will know that the Drink Wine Today site  – and the mighty wine God Bacchus – don’t like pointless shows of power and like to commemorate when these things come to nothing and just leave the powers that be looking like blithering, out of touch idiots. (Very occasionally they win – water on aeroplanes – but mostly, they lose.) And we celebrate these things with wine. (We celebrate EVERYTHING with wine actually but let’s not split hairs.)

So, back to orange and it suddenly being made forbidden. Well today we can wear orange when we want thank you very much and Holland as a nation loves it. (As does that odd woman I work with who dresses like a toddler and carries a Mr Men umbrella – but each to their own.)

But most importantly, the people who came up with the rule – people who probably never embraced life by getting drunk –  are dead and it never crossed my mind to attempt to find out who they were. Instead I pulled out an orange tee shirt, opened a bottle of vino and began to drink it.

Please do likewise.

A quote: “If Bacchus ever had a color he could claim for his own it should surely be the shade of tannin on drunken lips, or John Keats ‘purple stained mouth’ or perhaps even Homer’s dangerously wine dark sea.” Victoria Finlay.

(Today though it’s orange. Okay?)

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15 June: Madly waving the flag of drunkenness.

Have you ever – in your most bored moments – looked at images of the flag for Denmark and wanted to know more about it? Have you ever – in your most annoyed moments – wanted to have a fantastic answer to that office knob who looks at your grape juice disguised wine in the soda bottle and says: “Drinking again?”

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Well,  today is your lucky day because you’re about to learn how to use a simple thing like a flag (although any old rubbish will do really) to claim that you’re drinking for a cultural reason and that they (aforementioned Office Knob) should be ashamed of themselves for NOT drinking on such an important commemorative day and that it makes you think that they might, actually, be a terrorist or something.

So, let’s rehearse the conversation.

Office Knob (hereafter abbreviated to OK): “Drinking again?”

You: Isn’t everyone?

OK: Well I’m not. I think it’s only you?

You: Why are you so anti Europe? So insular and nationalistic? Are you a terrorist?

OK: What?

You: Today in 1219 it the Dannebrog – that’s what people who love their neighbors call the red and white flag – fell from the sky* during the battle of Lyndanisse and is now thought to be the world’s oldest flag. Surely anyone with a single ounce of cultural respect would want to celebrate the birth of a nation, the mighty intervention of angels?

OK: Are you Danish?

You: Are you a terrorist? Are you trying to discriminate against me for my love of all things flag like? I’m going to ring the anti terror hotline AND speak to my union.

OK: Let’s just forget about it.

Job Done: Office Knob will hate that you’re more culturally aware than them, will not mention ‘the issue of the wine’ and (added bonus) absolutely crap themselves everytime a stranger knocks on their door.

Wine: it’s fucking ace. (Denmark is probably okay too.)

A quote: “Truth and folly dwell in the wine cask.” Danish proverb.


*This is most likely not true.

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14th June: the long, hard slog of looking after a home + why it’s easier to just get drunk.

Take a look at your house. Imagine it when it was new before the kids kicked the shit out of it and you dropped that coffee near the white wallpaper or that mysterious fire incident next to the cupboard. Now go stand outside and imagine it with well maintained windows and real waterproof pointing and all the things that celebrities take for granted like Instagram followers and panic rooms.

Bet it looked great. Bet whoever designed it looked it over and announced that it was perfect. They probably never reckoned on people like us been let loose in it.

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So let’s drink wine today and celebrate that on this day in 1927 the Ahwahnee Hotel (above) designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood opened in the glorious setting of Yosemite Valley. Look at it. Doesn’t it look fantastic?

No matter what you do to your surroundings it will never look as good as this or be celebrated in anyway in the future.

What a relief. You may as well drink wine.

A quote: “The best wine comes from home, wherever it is.” Kirk Douglas.

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13 June: Celebrating brilliant minds that invent stuff by getting inebriated.

Let’s drink wine today because it’s Inventors Day! It’s celebrated as an official day in many countries around the world and takes it date from the birthday of the Mr Biro from Hungary who invented the biro pen.

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Generally those people concerned with such things sit around over mineral water and discuss circuit boards, vacuum cleaners and things like Ipads. But not all inventors are geeks sitting alone in their bedrooms and today is also a great day to drink wine and pay a silent homage to whoever it was who, thousands of years ago, first thought “I bet these grapes would make a nice drink if I let them sit around for a bit first.”

What a genius, what a pioneer, what a saint. Without even a pen to write it down with or an app to consult about the weather, they spectacularly invented a tool that has transformed the lives of millions for the better. And continues to do so today: wine.

Let us remember them in the way they would have expected – be getting studidly drunk.

A quote: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” Benjamin Franklin.

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12 June: The escapology of drunkenness.

On this day in 1973 Harry Houdini performed his iconic upside down escape from a straitjacket in New York City. Let’s drink some wine today to remember it. (It’s one of my favourite all time iconic images.)

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Houdini was one of those amazing individuals – like Casanova (whose birthday we drank ridiculous amounts for) – whose name becomes so synonymous with what they do that it lives on forever as a word in it’s own right. Mere mortals such as us can only hope for such immortal fame (or infamy.)

“A right Houdini.” – Someone who will not be held captive or chained by anything  – not cells, cages, not even odd looking metal milk cartons – but who moves forward by sheer force of will and thus achieves freedom and release.

Sounds familiar? Too right – it’s exactly what we do at the end of the day when some halfwit of a boss or sullen faced teenager has given us a hard time and we can see no obvious way out. To the non wine drinkers of the world this must be the time they sit around thinking about eating oatmeal or having an invigorating glass of water but to us – wine drinkers, controllers of our own destinies – this “hiccup” is nothing more than a eureka moment, a Houdini point of supreme realisation: we have the key to our own freedom.

It’s glass, contains 0.75 liters and sooner or later it unlocks everything. (Often theatrically, sometimes upside down.)

So – for Harry and for all the glory of Bacchus – let’s drink, let’s escape, let’s become legends.

A quote: “It is the hour to be drunken, to escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry or as you wish.”  Charles Baudelaire.

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11 June: the powers that be, censorship and why you should drink wine.

On this day in 1959 the Postmaster General banned Lady Chatterley’s Lover proving, once more, what we wine drinkers knew already. “They” – the authorities, governments etc – have no fucking idea about life and generally try to ban anything that adds a touch of fun into the day to day existence of normal folk.

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In the past they’ve banned everything from chocolate to drugs and even wine. (They never seem to ban their own bizarre sex parties though or to stamp out their liking for doing coke off rubber clad escort’s boobs whilst swapping state secrets or finding new ways to tax the poor. Strange that …..)

And, true to form, today in 1959 they got all uppity about other things we all enjoy like a little glimmer of illicit sex in woods and giving our genitals pet names to pass the time. (We all do it after all – I call mine Old Vine Grenache.)

But be sure to drink wine today to celebrate that their petty rulings never succeed and these days everyone has read it and seen some poorly made film of it and some people reenact it by going dogging and shouting “Oh Lady Jane” whilst they do it.  (This might be a British term – DON’T Google it at work if you’re not British and don’t know what it means. It’s got nothing to do with dogs.)

Good luck to them, let’s drink.

A quote: “We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.” Eduardo Galeano.

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10th June: Georgia O’Keeffe, the smell of wood and drinking alone.

One of my favourite songs is Splendid Isolation by Warren Zevon which begins with the great first line: “I want to live all alone in the desert, I want to be like Georgia O’Keeffe.” It goes on to talk about putting tinfoil on the windows to keep out all the fuckwittery of the world and simply being there, alone, in the dark, dreaming. It’s great. As with all things Zevon wrote it’s a perfect piece of art – although unbelievably made even more perfect when performed acoustically on the remarkably titled “Learning To Flinch” album…..

First in Log Cabins, Highland Village, Nova Scotia 146
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But I digress: the thing is it could be taken to “touched by god” levels of perfection had he just added a verse about the magnificence of drinking wine, all alone, in a big room with the lights turned off, laid on the floor, listening to your favourite song on repeat – over and over and over and over and over again – and being ever so slightly aware of the mask of drunkenness starting to descend as the mad, mad world goes on somewhere else. It’s my dream to do this – win the lottery (or have one of my ‘creative ideas’ go big) and then just fuck off into the sunset with a rucksack stuffed with wine, tinfoil (for the windows) and a baguette. And finally turn up ‘somewhere else’ and stay there being all Howard Hughes.

(Mrs Drink Wine today would have to come along later no doubt. In a taxi or something.Just to ruin the Splendid Isolation by suggesting I put shelves up or something.)

And what has all this got to do with drinking wine today, like right now, in this very moment to feel the ‘power of now’ and all that other new age shizzle?

Well today, in 1639, in Fort Christina (Wilmington Delaware) they (Swedes, no less – not Americans) built the very first ‘American’ log cabin. And, actually, thinking about it, I’d be quite to retreat to Slap Bang In The Middle Of Fucking Nowhere in a log cabin and become a recluse there.

Today I shall drink to that dream, to Bacchus and the Swedish people with axes. (Oh, and of course, to Zevon and O’Keeffe.) It’s going to be a glorious night.

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9th June: Duck it – it’s time to get drunk on glorious wine….

Donald Duck.

There. That’s it. Grab a corkscrew. Grab a bottle. And then drink some wine today. You’d be quackers not to.

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Because today the role model of all drunken nights out – quacking nonsense, misunderstanding stuff, falling over too much – made his debut in a short film called The Wise Little Hen in 1934. You can watch it HERE.

Presumably the wise little hen was sensible, thoughtful and sober. Subsequently his career sank without trace leaving the much more chaotic lifestyle advocate to take center stage and, from there, worldwide domination. This is the way it should be: one day this will be us. So begin your career trajectory tonight with bucketfuls of wine!

A quote: “Quickly bring me a beaker of wine so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.” Aristophanes.

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8th June: Crime. Caution. Let’s have some French wine.

Things in life just slip away sometimes – important things and events that should be remembered are sometimes simply forgotten. But let us never forget: it is a wine drinker’s duty to commemorate events with fermented grapes at every opportunity. (That’s the whole point of this site after all otherwise we’d just be looking up cat videos like everyone else. Also, these little acts are probably good for the universal karma and all that new age shizzle. (If you believe such stuff.

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Things like today in 1896; something diabolical and magical happened – the Baron de Zuylen’s Peugeot was stolen by his mechanic in Paris. And this, as the car chugs away into the murky French horizon, is the world’s very first automobile theft and, by the grace of God, we have a reason to drink wine today to commemorate it. And as the Baron went on to be a founding member of the Automobile Club of France we can drink wine from France. (A win/win situation.)

(It’s only fair to say that some people say it happened on the 1st June. It’s only fair to say that the Baron was Dutch not French. But all these things add to the timeless nature of crime with all its central themes of riproaring tension and confusion. This is what Agatha Christie based an entire career on)

So let’s remember the world’s first ever Grand Theft Auto moment by drinking loads of wine and going all outlaw in the supermarket – steal some carrots or something just for the hell of it.

A quote: “In wine is truth and the truth had all come out – that is all the uncleanness of his coarse and envious heart.” Dostoyevsky.

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7th June: Mysterious events of time and space. (And wine.)

In 1989 – for one solitary second, in the morning – the time/date read 01:23:45 6-7-89. This was no doubt amazing. A true once in a lifetime event that intelligent people surely celebrated by opening bottles of wine and drinking right up until the new time was 00:01:35 6-8-89 and sometimes long after that.

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But the real news is what we now know is that this mystical, magical time thing wasn’t a one off. In fact there’s another one happening today. Right now!

Look at your watch!

That’s right, it’s Wine o’clock. Life is tick tick tocking away so make the most of it. What a great reason to drink wine today. Enjoy. (This marvelous time event occurs daily admittedly but it’s always greeted by hugs and hurrahs in our house and probably should be in capital cities – and suburbs – elsewhere.

Be a part of it. Grab the corkscrew – it’s time ……

A quote; ” The connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes its secrets.” Salvador Dali.

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